PNP: Crime down in Cordillera

>> Monday, June 27, 2016

By Julie G. Fianza

BAGUIO CITY - A downward trend in crimes committed was reported during the recent Cordillera Regional Peace and Order Council meeting here.
From January to April 2016, regionwide crime volume was 4,749; 1,674 index and 3,075 non- index; compared to 6,945 during the same period in 2015, Police Regional Office (PRO-Cordillera) Senior Supt. Brent Madjaco reported, a 31.62% decrease.
During first quarter of 2015 and 2016, all Cordillera provinces registered decrease in crime: Abra, 69.27%; Apayao, 14.28%; Benguet, 50%; Ifugao, 21.11%; Kalinga, 78.34%; Mt. Province, 67.75%;  as with Baguio City, 24.15%;
The reduced crime volume was attributed to 90% personnel assigned on patrol duty, and remaining to offices, it was known.
Top wanted criminals were also arrested and firearms confiscated.
In a report from PDEA regional director Juvenal Azurin, 135 barangays are drug-affected regionwide, from the earlier 124. Vehicles for hire are often used in the transport of said drugs. No laboratory exists in the region, Azurin clarified.
Seizures of illegal and prohibited drugs were done in January up to April 2016, for crystalline Methamphetamine (shabu), Cannabis sativa (Marijuana) leaves, hash, bricks, seeds, seedlings, stalks and grown plants. A new form of illegal drugs, liquid shabu was also confiscated.
Coordination between and among the community, PNP and other agencies matter much in the war against illegal drugs, it was known.
In an earlier meeting and during the forum the establishment of a drug rehabilitation venue was suggested at the Luis Hora Memorial Hospital in Bauko, Mt. Province.
It was also requested during the forum that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) be informed of individuals having questionable drug and criminal backgrounds.
In the DENR BantayGubat report, forest guards are still working against illegal activities, forest fires, encroachment and destruction over 290,742 hectare. They also do site clearing, fire line clearing, foot patrol, seedling potting and other plant nursery activities.
In the comprehensive local integration program, 52 former rebels were assisted, with P132,300 administrative support; immediate financial assistance, P705,000; livelihood assistance, P2,300,000; firearm remuneration, P10,000 for a total of P3,147,300.00.
A downward trend in crimes in Baguio was also reported by City Police Office during second quarter City Human Rights, Justice, Peace and Order Council meeting at city hall.
The meeting was presided by Mayor Mauricio Domogan, and attended by Councilors Roberto Ortega and Mike Lawana, Prosecutor Elmer Sagsago, Acting BCPO Director Senior Supt. George Daskeo, National Police Commission (NaPolCom ) head Soledad Benwaren, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) head Gil Castro, Barangay Official Editha Ibarra, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Baguio Field Office head Evelyn Trinidad, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) officer April Rose Ayangwa, and other concerned agencies.
The BCPO report focused on crimes on a weekly basis. Theft cases topped the list, with physical injuries and robbery next. There were a case each of motornapping and homicide, within four weeks.
In April 20 to 26, there were 43 crimes committed. On illegal drugs, PDEA regional head Castro reported existence of liquefied shabu (methamphetamine) in the city in addition to that in crystallized form.
Liquid shabu is easy to ingest, while fruiting tops and stalks of Cannabis sativa (Marijuana or weed) are now preferred, Castro said. Solvents are commonly bought and used by children on streets, he added.
Since January this year, 23 operations were conducted, 27 drug personalities arrested, and 140.2116 grams of Shabu and 1,709.51 grams Marijuana, three Marijuana seedlings, 2.4 ml liquid Shabu and other suspected illegal drugs were confiscated.
According to Councilor Ortega, chair of the Human Rights, Justice, Public Protection and Safety, Peace and Order committee, a rehabilitation center for those addicted to illegal drugs is mulled. Ortega added rewards are given to tipsters on drug pushers and merchandisers.

Meanwhile, Napolcom officer Soledad Benwaren called on those interested to join the police force. Online applications for the Oct. 16, 2016 entrance examinations is on July 18 to 22, for Police Officers, July 25 to 29, and for all other positions, applications will be on Aug. 1-5. 


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