THE Cebu City Council will pass today a resolution appealing for the Central Command to help maintain the city’s peace and order.
Councilor David Tumulak told reporters yesterday that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will work together in patrolling, conducting check points and maintaining police and military visibility in public areas.
“This is part of the AFP’s community relations. We’re happy that they’ll be partners with PNP. This is also one way to assure the public that order and safety can be maintained,” Tumulak said.
He chairs the council committee on public order and safety.
He said the role of the military is not limited to wars, for they play a role in helping the community in times of calamities and disasters and upholding the law.
Aside from this, the move will show that the City Government will not tolerate the emergence of a death squad in the city.
He said that with the spate of vigilante-style killings in the city, the presence of uniformed law enforcers will show that the City is serious in its opposition to the executions.
“We’re calling out to those who identified themselves as members of the death squad to entrust to the police the law because it can’t be used for personal interest. We’re also fearing for the civilians who might be dragged into the situation,” Tumulak said.
He, however, clarified that the move will not promote militarization.
Although both AFP and PNP are already amenable to the plan, he said he has yet to consult sectoral heads “to make them fully understand the cause.”
Mayor Tomas Osmeña, in a separate interview, said peace and order in the city is in a “very unstable situation.”
“You know, I don’t really think there’s such a thing as a death squad. But there’s such a thing as death squats. These are people who are suyaon (resentful),” he said.
Although he announced last month that he will stop giving cash rewards to whoever can kill drug personalities, he said he received word promising him an alleged drug pusher’s head in exchange for P50,000.
This, the mayor said, may have been prompted by the people’s experiences of their relatives and homes being victimized by pushers.
“It’s a very unstable situation that does not need to call for an organization. It’s like the guerillas in World War II, they just talk to each other and it happens in reality even through social media. They’re fighting for this cause because they’re really resentful,” he said.
“Not everybody, but even if only 10 percent is angry, believe me, that’s a lot. That’s very fertile ground because what’s 10 percent of 100 million? The truth of the mater is that, many of the drugs are protected by the police,” he said.
Sought for comment, former mayor Michael Rama, in a press conference in a local restaurant, said the vigilante-style killing should be stopped.
He said the police should be the only ones to handle the cases because the killings are causing public confusion.