FOR decades, Davao City enjoyed the distinction of being one of the safest cities in the Philippines. Actually, it was considered to be the safest in the Philippines.
Those living in Davao City can walk in the middle of the night without worrying much about being jumped on. Individuals do not need to worry about riding alone in a taxi, tricycle, or any mode of transportation.
Davao’s safety record was its biggest selling point, leading to investment opportunities and interest from tourists. Davao City was a benchmark for order and security for many local government units in the country.
But recently, there seems to be a growing sense of concern among residents when it comes to safety in Davao City.
Over social media, we have read about crimes experienced by residents in the city – theft, rape, robbery, to name a few.
However, there have been recent incidents that are bound to raise questions about the current security situation in the city.
On May 17, it was reported by several news outlets about the alleged rape-slay of a 28-year-old architect. The body of the victim, identified as Vlanche Marie Bragas, was found in a banana plantation at 8 a.m. on the same day.
Prior to this, a 51-year old woman was shot along Diversion Road corner Bypass Road, Barangay Ma-a, Davao City on May 13. The victim, identified as Anabelle Cosido Elizagaque, was shot by three unknown suspects. According to Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Spokesperson Police Major Catherine dela Rey, one of the angles they are looking at is the victim's previous business transactions.
At present, the police have assured us that they will be investigating these recent incidents.
However, social media is abuzz with Dabawenyo netizens questioning Davao City’s safety and security.
Comments like “Naunsa naman ning Davao uy (What is happening in Davao City)” or “Ampingi gyud inyong mga babae (Make sure your mother/daughter/wife/friend are safe)” or “Safe pa ang Davao City? (Is Davao City still safe?)” are becoming common on social media.
Sadly, Davao City Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte has yet to issue a statement on the recent crime incidents in the city. There are also no statements on what the city plans to do to ensure the security of the people.
Likewise, the DCPO has also yet to formally issue a statement on the recent safety and security.
The people need assurance from our leaders and people who are protecting us that we are still among the safest in the country. But these should not only be said, we also want to see action from the mayor and the security cluster.
As people who live and work in Davao City, we do not want the city to go back to its yesteryears of crime and chaos. The city will still be able to keep its safety record if we are seeing what our leaders and security cluster are doing to ensure our safety.
We hope to hear from our leaders soon. We want to see, hear, and experience the immediate actions and the plans moving forward in ensuring that Davao City is still one of the safest cities in the Philippines.