Bacolod City – Amidst a spate of shooting incidents that claimed the lives of five victims within the month, Bacolod City is a safer place to live, police spokesman PLt. Col. Sherlock Gabana declared over the weekend, as he maintained that the occurrence the incidents are “isolated cases.”
For us in the police force, or even others in the community, such as law-abiding citizens, we can say that Bacolod City is a safer place to live, Gabana said.
The six shooting incidents are motivated by personal grudges and not connected to each other, stressed Gabana.
Mayor-elect Albee Benitez has expressed “alarm and concern” over the recent spate of shooting incidents in Bacolod City.
“We take this occasion to reiterate and accord our trust and confidence in our police force in the performance of their duties especially in the maintenance of the peace and order,” Benitez said in a statement read by Atty. Lyzander “Bong” Dilag, during a joint press conference with Gabana at the Negros Residences in Bacolod City.
Gabana said that the separate shooting incidents have different motives, scenarios or reasons.
Of the six shooting incidents, three cases have already been filed against the identified suspects, while they have persons of interest in the three other incidents, Gabana said.
Dilag said that the administration of Mayor Albee commits itself in doing its share in the task of vigorously exploring all avenues in addressing issues of criminality in Bacolod City.
Gabana said that crime prevention is not only the obligation of law enforcement agencies or the city of Bacolod, as he also underscored the involvement of barangays and the community as well.
We need the cooperation of the community to ensure their safety and security, he stressed.
The crime prevention campaign of BCPO was also hampered by non-functional CCTVs installed in majority of key strategic areas of Bacolod City, which is to be addressed by the incoming administration, according to Dilag.
Gabana also called on owners of private establishments to have their CCTVs focus not only in their property, but also in streets to help in crime deterrence.
BCPO had earlier submitted its 25-item “wish list” to Benitez, which aims to further improve the delivery of public safety services to Bacoleños.
He also revealed that Mayor-elect Benitez promised to augment 10 BCPO police stations with 100 police auxiliaries who are now undergoing training to further maximize their visibility operations, aside from enlisting the help of various advocacy groups, in close coordination with Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team members and tanods of different barangays in Bacolod City.
He admitted that criminals are closely monitoring movements of patrolling policemen, before committing crimes, which he described a “challenge” for them.
To further maximize visibility operations, Gabana disclosed that BCPO director PCol. Joseph Martir ordered all office personnel in police stations and even at BCPO headquarters to join in the conduct of beat patrols.
Asked what would they need immediately to help curb criminality, Gabana said BCPO is needing more fuel allocation to have all its vehicles patrol the major streets and economic activity centers and a motor pool for maintenance of their vehicles.
Dilag said that Mayor-elect Albee Benitez will provide those what BCPO wants in a gradual manner.
With the contracts of job order traffic enforcers to end June 22, Gabana said that BCPO will take over the functions pending the training of new personnel. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)