CITY Councilor Teodolfu Lao Jr. said Sunday, March 12, that the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) may have been “too relaxed in law enforcement,” saying the apparent lack of police visibility in some areas may be one of the reasons crime happens.
This came after 30-year-old Cherrymae Dayo, a third year Education student at the Southern Philippines College (SPC), was raped and killed Friday evening on Capistrano-JR Borja streets, Cagayan de Oro.
Lao said maintaining the police visibility in the city has been a “perennial problem” for the city’s police force.
“Ang ato gyud ginatan-aw is ang police visibility kulang kayo. Second, relax ra kaayo atong mga police. Karon, we can actually notice nga sunod-sunod na ang mga insidente dinhi sa dakbayan. And the crime happened in Capistrabo-JR Borja, nga commercial areas man unta kini (We are looking at the lack of police visibility. Second, the police is too relaxed that we can actually notice the consecutive incidents happening in the city),” Lao said.
“We should take this up, call the attention of our police commander including the heads of police precinct, we should also tap our barangay police as force multipliers because we also admit the police can’t cover all areas, so why not tap our barangay police for help,” he added.
Lao also said the parents of the suspects, especially the minor suspect, should be held liable under the newly-approved Parental Responsibility Code.
Lao said parents should be made to answer why the minor suspect was in the city streets in the wee hours of the night.
“Atong tan-awon kung unsaon to pag-implement ang Parental Responsibility Code, kay kinahangalan managot ang parents, kay dapat ang parents aware sila sa ilang anak, kung unsay activities ani, pag-nurture niini, even pagbantay (We will also see how we can enforce our Parental Responsibility Code because the parents, who cares and nurtures their own children, should answer ),” he said.
For City Councilor George Goking, a community-based neighborhood watch should be established to ensure security.
“In every progressive nga syudad, naa man gyuy crime. So we will suggest that a community-based neighborhood watch should be present, magbinantayay, magtinabangay ang tanan, dili lang kay ang police lang ang magbantay sa kalinaw (In every progressive city, there are always crimes. So we suggest a community-based neighborhood watch, and look after and help each other, not rely on police),” Goking said.
“We have to be vigilant and at the same time do our part,” he added.
Goking, the chair of the committee on trade and commerce, also wants to approve bigger budget in the putting up of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTVs) in establishments, and even on streets, to aid the police in the investigation of crimes.
He said this would also assure security to businessmen and would not scare off investors in the city.
Goking also commended the Police Station 1 in Divisoria for the immediate action and arrest of the suspects.
“Lipay ta kay action agad, this gives us confidence. Although lisod na para sa family kay wala gyud na-save, but it would have been harder for them, kung at large ang suspects (We are happy that the police were able to act and arrest the suspects immediately, it would have been harder for the family if the suspects are at-large),” he said.
Mayor Oscar Moreno, for his part, condemned the rape and murder of Dayo and said the City Government will provide assistance to the grieving family.
“It’s really unfortunate. But we already directed the social welfare department that we are extending assistance. Let’s all pray for the eternal repose of Cherry unta kining nadakpan will be brought to trial so that justice will be given,” he said.
Dayo, who was in the house where she works as a caretaker, was attacked by suspects, namely, Warren Amarga, 24, Angel Mae Rada, 22, Joan Esalante, 18, and Joan Escalante, and a 17-year-old boy.
According to authorities, signs of forcible entry were evident at the house and some footprints were noted beside the victim’s room.
A bladed weapon 15 inches long was recovered from the crime scene.
Before her death, Dayo was able to tell the attending emergency rescuers that she was raped.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 13, 2017.