Sue victims who don’t file cases vs suspects of vehicular thefts – prosecutor

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/16 July) – Police should file charges of obstruction of justice against victims of vehicular thefts in the province who would refuse to file cases against suspects, Bukidnon Provincial Prosecutor Mirabeaus Undalok said.

Undalok spoke to members of the Provincial Peace and Order Council in their meeting on July 8 after Gov. Alex Calingasan asked why only seven cases were filed against suspects when police already arrested 23 suspects of vehicular thefts in the province from January to June 2010.

“We do not allow complainants to withdraw cases against the suspects as we want the criminals to suffer in jail,” the prosecutor told the PPOC.

He advised the police to file obstruction of justice cases to complainants who withdraw their complaints.

Police officials said many victims would desist from filing cases once their vehicles, mostly motorcycles, are recovered.

Complainants lose interest in filing charges because of the cost of litigation, too, sources said.

Senior Supt. Nerio Bermudo, Bukidnon provincial police director, reported to the PPOC that for the first six months of 2010, there were 50 cases of vehicular theft in the province, 48 of which involved motorcycles.

He cited that 19 of the 48 motorcycles were already recovered, 23 suspects have been arrested and seven cases have been filed.

Bukidnon’s crime rate from January to June 2010 decreased by 54 percent compared to the same period last year, Bermudo told the council.

He said 4,245 incidents were reported in the first half of 2009 but only 1,951 in the same period this year.

Index crimes went down from 2,444 to 1,611 cases or a decrease of 823 cases. Non-index crimes dropped from 1,801 to 340 cases, he added.

The police official, who presented the figures to the PPOC in its meeting on July 8, the first under the administration of Governor Alex Calingasan, attributed the decrease to checkpoints and police visibility during the election period. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)