Unabated crimes lead to road closure in Surigao

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 Dec) – Because of a series of crimes occurring inside a subdivision here, its residents have decided to close a private road from the rest of the public on Tuesday, even though the road had been very helpful to many motorists in avoiding traffic for several years.

The Ouano-Ceniza Heights Neighborhood Association, Inc., who owns Ceniza Road located in Barangay Washington, have expressed worry over incidents of rape, robberies and burglaries that victimized subdivision residents.

There was also a kidnapping incident that happened inside the subdivision several years ago, victimizing banker Johnson Cuiting. The victim has not come home yet to this date.

Ceniza Road, had been used by motorists as a shortcut route for some time as it connects Arellano Road and the National Highway in Kilometer 3.

Marcelo R. Bulactin, public information officer of the Ouano-Ceniza Heights Neighborhood Association, said only homeowners can now get access to the road. “Non-residents of Ceniza Heights are prohibited from entering and using the road that served as shortcut route,” he said.

A lot of motorists from several villages who were used to using the road now feel the hassle because of the closure.

Christopher Po, a bank employee, said he frequently traversed Ceniza Road to avoid the traffic in the main thoroughfare. “I can get to downtown in only five minutes using the road,” he said. It would take him at least double the time now.

City Councilor Jose Begil Jr., chair of the city council’s committee on transportation, said they could not do anything about it since it is a private road.

He said Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas should be blamed instead because he failed to stop the rising criminality. “He is always out of the city. As chairman of the city’s Peace and Order Council, the mayor should have done something against criminality,” Begil stressed.

“There are prominent businessmen living in this area and now they are afraid of their security because of these unabated crimes victimizing subdivision residents. Right now the city has miserably failed to address this situation,” he added.

Security guards manning the gates told MindaNews that they have blocked hundreds of motorists who wanted to get access to Ceniza Road on Tuesday.