CHR investigates killing of quarantine violator | Inquirer News

CHR investigates killing of quarantine violator

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday said it would be investigating the death of a 59-year-old man with a mental illness, who was shot dead by a “barangay tanod” (village watchman) in Tondo, Manila, for allegedly violating quarantine restrictions.

According to police reports, Eduardo Geñoga was accosted by Cesar Panlaqui on Aug. 7 for allegedly slamming doors and gates along Tayuman Street during curfew hours. Geñoga then approached the watchman with a stick, provoking Panlaqui, who shot him in the chest.

ADVERTISEMENT

Under the law, barangay watchmen are not supposed to be carrying firearms at all.

In a statement, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia condemned the incident, saying it was “deeply concerning that a quarantine violator died again in the implementation of quarantine protocols, which is reminiscent of deaths of violators in last year’s [lockdown] implementation.”

FEATURED STORIES

Not the first time

This is also not the first time that people with mental illnesses died under the hands of law enforcers. In April last year, former Army veteran Winston Ragos, who was suffering post-traumatic stress disorder from when he was deployed in the Marawi siege, was killed by Quezon City police, who accused him of carrying a gun in his bag.

This year, Valenzuela police also shot a 19-year-old man with autism, who they accused of being a suspect in the operations of an illegal cockfighting den.

“The Commission has repeatedly stressed throughout the ongoing pandemic that this is a health crisis, not a peace and order agenda. Employing force will not eliminate the virus, but may instead further imperil and harm lives, which the quarantine rules is supposed to protect,” De Guia said.

She assured the family that it would be probing the incident, while Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, chief of the PNP, sent marching orders to all police commanders to ensure that no watchmen carry firearms while on patrol.

De Guia also reminded other law enforcers to follow humane policing and to “respect every individual’s dignity, especially the vulnerable ones, including those with mental health conditions.”

No guns for watchmen

Besides quarantine violators, Eleazar has ordered his men to look out for watchmen carrying firearms amid the ongoing lockdown in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

While watchmen are among the force multipliers, Eleazar ordered police commanders “to make sure that no [watchmen] would be allowed to carry guns especially in the enforcement of the quarantine rules.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Republic Act No. 10591, or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunitions Act, prohibits nonplantilla employees in the government, including watchmen, to carry firearms.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), through Memorandum Circular No. 2018-16, also directed watchmen “not to carry neither [local government]-owned or personally issued firearms while in the performance of their duties and functions.”

Guns are not among the equipment of watchmen under DILG MC No. 2003-42, or the Guidelines on Professionalizing the Barangay Tanods.

Eleazar assured the public that a “thorough” probe would be conducted. He also tasked the police to investigate if Geñoga’s gun had a license, lest another criminal complaint of illegal possession of firearms would be filed against him.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: CHR, lockdown violations, NCR Plus ECQ, slain quarantine violator with mental illness
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

News that matters



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.