IT WAS an overachieving year for the peacekeepers in Davao City for 2015.

But there are also major incidents which highlighted and at the same time shaken up the peace and order in the city.

Safest city

The collaborative effort of law enforcement agencies in the city has been recognized by, a user-contributed survey site, as one of the top 10 safest cities in the world.

Davao City was initially ranked ninth safest in the world with a safety index of 80.69 or a crime index of 19.31 last April 30.

But six weeks later, the city's ranking moved up to at least five spots and ranked fourth safest with a safety index of 82.06 or a crime index of 17.94, only trailing behind Seoul, South Korea, Singapore and Osaka, Japan.

The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) and Task Force Davao along with other support agencies were lauded for doing their tasks and responsibilities that led to another feat for Davao City.

Drug ops

DCPO in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) with other stakeholders launched two city-wide "One-Time, Big-Time" operations this year that resulted to the arrest of a total of 79 drug pushers and seized some P8 million of suspected shabu and marijuana along with other drug paraphernalia.

Also during the two operations, police operatives killed 11 drug pushers who were armed and resisted arrest.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has been consistently battling the proliferation of illegal drugs and drug syndicates, small or big time personalities here.

The two operations were funded by Mayor Duterte and declared that intense operations against illegal drugs will still be launched even if he is not the elected city mayor anymore.

A leader dies

The death of New People's Army (NPA) commander Leoncio Pitao, alias Kumander Parago, has been regarded as this year's biggest achievement for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) particularly the 10th Infantry Division (ID) and the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom).

Kumander Parago and his medical aide Vanessa Limpag were killed in an encounter with government troops particularly the 10th ID's Task Force Minion in Paquibato District last June.

Parago has been regarded as the oldest and most wanted NPA commander in Mindanao with at least 17 standing arrest warrants for several heinous crimes of murder, arson, and among others.

Mayor Duterte even allowed the communist rebels to stage a state funeral for Parago in the city which received mixed reactions from various sectors.

Thousands of sympathizers from different parts of Mindanao joined the funeral march for the slain NPA commander last July 10.

A kidnapping

One of the major lapses for the law enforcement agencies for this year was the Samal kidnapping incident where three foreign nationals and a Filipina were abducted by members of the Abu Sayyaf Group last September.

The abducted victims were identified as Kjartan Sekkingstad, a Norwegian national and operations manager of Holiday Ocean View; John Ridsel and Robert Hall, both Canadian nationals; and Tess, a Dabawenya and Hall's girlfriend.

Last October, a video footage surfaced on the social media sites where the victims were appealing to their respective governments to pay the ransom money to the ASG captors in exchange for their release.

The captors demanded at least P4 billion ransom in exchange for the safe release of their captives.

As of this writing, the abducted victims are believed to be held in Sulu and military operations are still on-going to rescue them as the Philippine government stands firm on its no-ransom policy.

An explosion, a blight

The latest incident, however, that probably caught the peacekeepers off guard was the explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED) inside a public utility van near the van terminal in Ecoland Drive last November.

The driver of the van identified as Herman Daag and his aide Tata Besanez only incurred small injuries and were declared safe from danger due to the explosion.

Personnel DCPO are still investigating the motives of extortion and personal in the incident.

All law enforcement agencies, meanwhile, have reiterated their commitment to continue doing their job and responsibilities to be able to pre-empt any terror threats planned by criminal groups in the next year.