VIOLENT incidents involving gang members have gone up by nine cases in the first two months of this year compared to the same period last year.

Records of the Homicide Section showed that from Jan. 1 to Feb. 22, a total of 10 attacks were blamed on members of Bloods or Crips gangs. Four people died in the attacks.

Only one incident was recorded in the same period in 2009, which means a 900 percent increase compared to this year’s figures.

This year, two incidents happened in January while eight cases have been investigated by the Homicide Section this month.

The most recent attack happened in Sitio San Isidro in Barangay Mabolo, where 13-year-old Henry Jake L. Herandio was gunned down by at least five members of Crips Gang.

Investigators believe it was a case of mistaken identity because Herandio is not a member of a gang.

Two of the five suspects in the shooting were arrested by responding policemen from the Mabolo Police Station.

Last Jan. 7, a shooting incident in Barangay Lorega San Miguel left Cleofas A. Bueno injured. The attack was blamed on Bloods gang members.

Patrols, checkpoints

No other incident was reported in January and February last year.

Cebu City Police Office Director Patrocinio Comendador said the most that the police can do is to intensify patrols and checkpoints.

He said, though, that solving the gang problem should start at the “home front” of these members.

Comendador also urged parents to take an active role in solving the problem.

Monitoring the activities of their children, especially at night, is one way of helping, the city director said.

He observed that majority of the parents of the gang members are not aware that their children have joined the group.

‘Uniform approach’

Comendador also suggested to the local government units and the barangay leaders to come up with a “uniform approach” in addressing the problem, such as the implementation of a curfew.

He, however, said he can only suggest a solution and it is up to the government officials whether they would heed it.

Comendador said the city police force had tried tapping the barangays in solving the problem on gangs.

However, not all those they have approached responded, citing the lack of personnel, particularly barangay tanods, who can apprehend children who stay in the streets late at night. (JTG)