Police: Crime dips as feast nears

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

AT THE height of the Higalaay Kagay-an Festival 2014, the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) has noticed a decline in criminal activities on the streets following the high-level alert and tighter security measures implemented by law enforcers.

As the feast of St. Augustine comes to its grandest day Thursday, Chief Inspector Lemuel Gonda, chief of operations and plans division, said authorities are still in control of the city's peace and order.

"Since January, nag-drop ang crime rate because we have intensive campaigns. In August, as the fiesta approaches, the number of street crimes has slowed down by and by," Gonda told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Tuesday morning.


At the beginning of 2014, the city police have conducted the intensified campaign against terrorism, criminality, and other hostilities movement (“Icatchm”) and the intensified peace and order drive (“Ipod”) that include regular check points, roving operations, manpower augmentation and police outposts.

As the month of August opened, police security map Oplan Senior San Agustin 2014 has been placed to maintain the highest alert status of the city.

The Philippine Army is also working jointly with the authorities.

Major Christian Uy, chief of the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division's (4ID) public affairs office, told this paper previously they have deployed personnel in monitoring suspicious persons entering the city.

City councilor Ramon Tabor, chair of the committee on police, fire and public safety, cited the role of the public has helped in maintaining a safe and peaceful place.

"[The primary reason of the decreasing crime rate is the] joint effort among concerned agencies helping us and, of course, the support and cooperation of the people. Let us continue to enjoy the different activities lined up and pray for the safety of our city and the people," Tabor said Tuesday morning.

Northern Mindanao's Police Regional Office (PRO-10) added 150 police officers coming from the Regional Public Safety Battalion last August 13.

The Special Training Unit of PRO also had augmented 100 police trainees distributed around the city since the second week of the month.

Police records from the City Investigation and Detection Management Bureau (CIDMB), however, showed most crime suspects are still at large.

In its Unit Crime Periodic Report (ICPR) from January to May this year, suspects who remained scot-free have reached 52 out of the 82 alleged perpetrators in murder and rape-related cases alone.

Superintendent Adonis Mutya, CIDMB chief, said the shortcoming of the data is also possible as it only documented the police blotters of every station.

Gonda furthered crime incidents related to the month-long fiesta celebration have not transpired as its campaigns continue.

Last Monday August 18, a 10 year-old girl was allegedly raped in Cogon area by still unidentified tricycle driver. The victim was taken into custody of the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD).

Based on police records, robbery that involves ransacking of private vehicles has surged in August alone.

"We cannot stop this kind of street crime. What we can do about it is to conduct preventive measures on the part of car owners. We must see to it we park our vehicles at safe places," Gonda said.

In June and July, both index and non-index crimes like summary killings, robbery and drug peddling have peaked at an alarming level.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 27, 2014.

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