26 nabbed in Kaamulan fest

He said the number did not include the 11 other suspects arrested for concealing bladed weapons after police frisking operations.

Martinez, MCPO officer-in-charge, told the Malaybalay City Council that 12 cases had been filed in court against a number of the suspects.

He said three suspects who were minors, were referred to the City Social Welfare and Development Office.

Martinez replaced P/Supt. Orlando Beñas, who he said, was assigned as deputy chief of the PNP regional police division in Cagayan de Oro. 

The city council summoned Beñas to shed light on the matter but Martinez had already assumed on March 16 and sought a courtesy call.

He said 22 or more than half of the 38 crime incidents involved pickpocketing cases, with 20 of recorded in  the Malaybalay City Grandstand, venue of the  Kaamulan Rodeo and Motocross.

Martinez’ report cited seven cases of stabbing, one resulting to homicide. It also cited three incidents of physical injuries.

Martinez said many of the suspects were not from Bukidnon.

”Like tourists, some of the suspects from other cities come to where the festivities are,” he said citing similar situation when he was assigned in Cebu to secure the Sinulog Festival.

The city council welcomed Martinez. City Councilor Jimmy Gellor asked the new police chief to come up with proposals how to address the growing number of crime incidents in the city.

“Malaybalay has a very alarming increase in crime rate,” said Gellor, who sits as chair of the city council committee on peace and order. But he did not give figures.

Gellor said he plans to draft a Comprehensive Peace and Order Program to address the problem, which has been haunting the city even before the Kaamulan Festival.

Gellor said the city need not start from scratch since it could learn from the experiences of other cities.

He said the peace and order problem is not only a police matter, but very much a concern of the community. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)