Councilor: Crime wave in Oro appalling-A A +A
Monday, March 18, 2013
COUNCILOR Ian Mark Nacaya, chair of the committee on police, fire and public safety, admitted the appalling state of the peace and order condition in Cagayan de Oro City as another hold-up victim was killed on Friday.
In a forum at a university over the weekend, Nacaya challenged local police to strengthen and intensify their intelligence networking to contain and deter crimes after civil society pointed the seeming lack of coordination and harmonization between the community and the police, including the local government units.
During the forum, Ma. Theresa Rillo-Alegrio, representing the business sector, said the community, as the first line of defense, suffered the most.
“We are really most vulnerable to the crime,” Alegrio said.
She said unless the gap of coordination between the law enforcers and the community will not be addressed, crimes continue.
Alegrio urged the people to be more engaged in the area they are in.
On Friday, another businessman succumbed to gunshot wounds after his bag containing undetermined amount of cash was seized by a lone suspect at China Village in Zayas, Barangay Carmen.
Reports said the bag contained about a million pesos in cash as the victim, Raul Tan, a money changer, was on his way to do his business.
Representative Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City’s second district also appealed to the City Government and the police to plan coordinated actions through the creation of a good intelligence gathering and networking to prevent crimes.
Rodriguez has urged the tapping of “informants” as they possibly have links that will lead to surveillance and arrest of suspects.
“Kung wala kini (informants), mosaka pa ang killings ug samot nga magka-deteriorate na gyud ang peace and order situation sa siyudad,” Rodriguez told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.
He added that before crimes can be committed, perpetrators can be arrested since there are now leads and surveillance available from these informants.
For his part, former senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. also called on the authorities to give utmost priority of the maintenance of law and order.
“Otherwise, kaluoy sa mga tawo nga walay kapas sa pagpanalipod sa ilang kaugalingon,” Pimentel said.
Meanwhile, Senior Inspector Lemuel Gonda said crime prevention at the barangay level will be implemented within the week.
“We need the participation of the community,” Gonda said.
But Ralph Abragan, chair of the citizen’s group Save CDO Now Movement, was quick in saying that even the hotline number “888” is unreliable since nobody answers it.
“How will we reach the police when there is an emergency and nobody’s answering the number dialled?” Abragan raised the issue during the forum.
Abragan said the situation is not only alarming but a “total terror” situation, leaving the people feeling uncomfortable and uncertain of their safety and security. “There is really now a breakdown of law implementation.”
Abragan appealed to Mayor Vicente Emano to declare “red alert” status in the city.
However, Rodriguez said it may be inappropriate yet to declare a red alert status.
Since January 2013, more than 10 have been killed due to hold-ups and robberies where the suspects viciously shot the victims.
The crime wave in the city has been trending in the social network drawing chatter, rants, and suggestions that could possibly solve the crime and violence. These incidents have been picked up by bloggers and other online users who have been urging the Kagay-anons to join activities that will help solve the series of violence in the city.
One netizen suggested the creation of a task force composed of dedicated professionals from the police, the military and the regional and national intelligence units “who can operate independently free from influence and intimidation of local politicians.”
“Superior and pro-active special intelligence operations and or mass based information gathering should be employed to address this very alarming situation of our city,” the comment read.
It added that both passive and active security measures should also be undertaken by all concerned agencies. “The magnitude of this problem is no ordinary task for our police and other concerned units or agencies to handle and should not be relied on them alone.”
“There should also be an information management, knowing the enemy, digging deeper into every angle, who and what these groups are, their masterminds and conspirators,” another online statement said.
Lawyer Edgardo Uy also posted on social media that the breakdown of law and order is not purely a police matter. “It is also a result of bad governance and a distorted view of leadership.”
“With the strong will of the Cagay-anons and dedicated law enforcers, these incidents could be minimized or deterred,” one comment read.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 18, 2013.