MAYOR Celso Lobregat said he will have to study the situation in the three Zamboanga villages before he would declare or not the areas under state of lawlessness violence.

The issue about the declaration was discussed during the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) meeting last July 13, which granted the mayor the authority to declare state of lawlessness violence if the situation so desires.

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The City Council has reinforced the granting of authority in a resolution approved last Wednesday.

"The implications (of declaring the state of lawlessness violence) -- positive and negative -- were thoroughly discussed. Actually this is an executive decision," Lobregat said.

"I will not act (on the matter) without thinking, it should be for the greater good for the greater number. There are implications, yes, but we will choose which decision benefits the greater good for the greater number," he added.

But if he acts on the authority, Lobregat said: "We will act very prudently cautiously but with firmness."

Under the law, it is within the power of the local chief executive to make such declaration. But Lobregat said the situation will have to be studied pending also the ultimatum given by the Zamboanga Peninsula Police Office (ZPPO) director to the Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO).

The ZCPO under Senior Superintendent Edwin de Ocampo has been tasked by ZPPO Director Edwin Corvera to come up with positive results within a period of one to two weeks in the investigation of the shooting cases in the villages of Talon-Talong, Mampang, and Arena Blanco.

Positive results mean the arrest of the suspects, filing of proper charges, and the stoppage of the shooting incidents.

Meanwhile, Lobregat said the police have been doing the very best to resolve the problem in the three villages but the law enforcement authorities require the support and cooperation of the residents.

The police can only succeed in its effort to fight crime if and when the community fully supports and cooperates to such effort, Lobregat said. (Bong Garcia)