Barangay tanod kills curfew violator with mental illness in Tondo

A 59-year-old curfew violator with mental illness was shot dead by a village guard (barangay tanod) in Tondo, Manila during the second day of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, on Saturday, August 7. 

Eduardo Geñoga was gunned down along Tayuman Street on Saturday by Cesar Panlaqui, 55, a village guard of Barangay 156 in Tondo, according to a Manila Police District (MPD) report. 

Based on the report, two personnel of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) - Quezon City were traveling along Tayuman street on Saturday when they heard gunshots. The two CIDG personnel went towards the gunshot’s direction and discovered the lifeless body of Geñoga.

The CIDG personnel reported the incident to the nearby barangay hall and police station. Police personnel from MPD Police Station 7 went to the crime scene and gathered information from witnesses, including the victim’s brother, who said that the victim suffered from mental illness. 

According to a report of GMA’s Unang Hirit, the barangay tanod accosted the victim because he was being noisy during curfew hours. The victim reportedly slammed doors and gates in the area. 

The victim reportedly approached the suspect with a stick, which prompted the village guard to shoot the victim in the chest. The suspect was already arrested by the MPD. 

The police recovered a revolver gun with no proper document and unknown caliber. According to the suspect, he was carrying a gun because of goons in their area.

Probe underway

In an interview with GMA’s Unang Hirit, Department of the Interior and Local Government spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the interior department already ordered the police to investigate the incident. 

Iniimbestigahan na po natin ang report na ito. Ang Philippine National Police ay inatasan na po ni Secretary Eduardo Año upang alamin ang puno't dulo nito,” Malaya said. 

(We are already investigating this report. The Philippine National Police was tasked by Secretary Eduardo Año to determine the cause of the incident.) 

In a statement on August 10, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) announced that it is currently probing the killing of Geñoga.

The CHR said the death of another quarantine violator is reminiscent of Winston Ragos, who died during the first implementation of enhanced community quarantine in the country in 2020. 

The commission also reminded the authorities to adhere to human rights-based policy in enforcing the quarantine rules, especially for those with mental health conditions.

Under the law, village guards are not allowed to possess guns during operations. In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants to arm barangay officials who will actively participate in operations against crime and illegal drugs with guns. 

During the implementation of ECQ and modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, including its neighboring provinces from March to April 2021, at least three curfew violators died in the hands of law enforcers. 

In General Trias, Cavite, 28-year-old Darren Manaog Peñaredondo died after being forced to do 300 rounds of the exercise in Barangay Tejero. A few days after this death, on April 11, Ernanie Lumban Jimenez died after at least two village guards allegedly beat him to death in Laguna. 

On April 18, 12-year-old John Dave Pepito lost consciousness and died while being chased by village guards in Pasay City. –