Should Cocpo chief Mijares resign?

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By Nef Luczon


Sunday, July 27, 2014

FEW days since the month of July started, the chief of the Cagayan de Oro Police Office (Cocpo) is poised to reduce the criminalities in the city after he was challenged by the chairperson of the city council’s committee on police, fire and public safety, councilor Ramon Tabor.

Senior Superintendent Graciano Mijares, even “directed all police precincts in the city to conduct patrols, regular checkpoints and inspections” in common and public areas and even admitted that Cocpo
may not be a perfect organization, but he was asking the public to help them fight crimes. These pronouncements were based on the July 3 report from this paper.

But it looks like the devil is taunting Mijares, when two weeks later, a daring robbery inside SM City Cagayan de Oro perpetrated by about 10 people carted away jewelry worth millions.


These perpetrators just stormed a mall with little regard to the security guards and security checks, wasting bullets with their firearms with no care to the people around, and then they got away with it.

Interestingly, the robbery incident occurred just five days before the Lim Ket Kai bombing turned one year since it happened, and Mijares was then months old as Cocpo chief, but until now, there was no closure to the case amid despite the filing of murder charges to those responsible for the killing of eight people and injuring more than 40 others.

People in the media were divided on the divinity of Mijares, some say that he failed miserably to prevent criminal activities and about time he must be relieved and some say that he is actually the right person to the job to lead Cocpo because he was considered as one of the police forces’ best.

This may hold true when he said on the same news article that "there are crimes that are solved overnight. There are crimes which are solved within weeks. And there are also crimes that would take years before they are solved.”

The Ket Kai bombing and SM robbery incidents may fall under crimes that would take years to be solved, but on petty small-time robberies occurring in Cogon market and inside the jeepneys? Overnight, there
appears to be no solution.

There may be a couple of apprehension and Mijares backed it up by saying that the crime rates in the city have declined in past months, however records from the Northern Mindanao headquarters of the Philippine National Police showed that Cagayan de Oro has the highest contributing figures in the surge of crime rates in the region with 55 percent share.

This is may not be surprising as every other day we get to hear first-hand of tales of people being robbed even in broad daylight and business establishment losing its profits from robbers.

Theories arising that some police officers allegedly were also behind the robbing activities, and a “dark force” who unleashed these criminals just to sabotage and destabilize the peace and order of the city.

And the August festivities are coming. Can Mijares and his men catch up for the challenge? [Email:]

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 28, 2014.


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