CCPO director believes the city’s crime statistics may have been manipulated

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Friday, May 9, 2014


SENIOR Supt. Noli Romana is not happy with the statistics that show the crime rate in Cebu City has gone up.

“I did research and looked for the circumstances behind it. True enough, I found out the data was not truthful,” he said yesterday during a press briefing.

The figures grabbed the limelight when these were released, resulting in warnings from the local government and the regional police office.

The crime volume in Cebu City rose 22.6 percent during the first quarter of this year with 3,194 crimes recorded compared to the same period in 2013 with 2,605 crimes recorded.

Romana, director of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said they won’t be able to analyze and diagnose the city’s peace and order situation with the right programs if they don’t have the true picture.

Ongoing probe

“Considering our meager resources, logistics and personnel, we will at least know what plans should be implemented to address the problems. If it’s a defective data, our analysis is also defective,” he said.

With this issue, Romana said he wants to remove the culture and bad habits in police service, such as manipulating data, for transformation to seep in.

A number of police station chiefs, Romana said, may have “hidden” or “manipulated” the crime statistics of their respective areas that resulted to the rise in the crime volume.

He said they’re investigating to find out who these police station chiefs are and mulling the possibility of holding them liable for administrative charges.

“I have sufficient reason to believe that the crime trend should have gone down,” Romana said.

Not fingerpointing

In the first and second quarter of 2013, police stations were directed to submit crime statistics without allegedly being personally inspected by investigators from Camp Crame.

“In their dire attempt to come up with the deadline, the police stations were just told to submit, which could have turned out to be self-serving,” he said.

Romana is not blaming the Police Regional Office 7 for releasing the figures to the media.

“It’s not their fault since the data came from us in the first place. We will rectify it as soon as possible,” he said.

In another development, five high-ranking police officers in CCPO were reshuffled after their performance was evaluated.

Mabolo Police Station Chief Ryan Devaras was transferred to the Parian Police Station.

He will be replaced by Senior Insp. Hartzel Billedo, deputy chief of operations
branch.

Parian Police Station Chief Leoncio Baliguat Jr. will take over the post Billedo vacated.

The other two officials affected by the reshuffle are Police Station 2 Chief David Señor and Guadalupe Police Station Chief Allan Rosario.

“In any organization, you have to find the right person for the right job. Some fit while others are square pegs on a round hole. PNP, ever since, is dynamic. Let’s see what these fresh assignments will make,” Romana said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 10, 2014.

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