Iligan mayor to police force: ‘Solve crimes’

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/04 August) — Mayor Lawrence Lluch Cruz is pressuring the police force here to improve its capacity to resolve rising criminality and asked civilian communities to help identify suspected criminals within their respective barangays.

Cruz expressed his dismay over the poor crime solution efficiency of the Iligan City Police Office (ICPO) following reports from the StatWatch of the National Statistical Information Center of Cagayan de Oro city.

The office earlier reported that “out of 672 total crime volume, only 49 cases were solved in the first quarter of 2010.”

This month, apart from rising figures of motor vehicles theft, Cruz cited the death of a nursing student who was “mercilessly stabbed and killed by three hold-uppers” while a Lanao del Norte provincial prosecutor, Macadatar Marsangca, was shot dead early today by two motorcycle-riding gunmen while he was doing routine physical exercise at Pryce Property, a place frequented by early morning joggers.

“This is too much,” Cruz told reporters. Richel Borres, a staff of the Ranaw Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Center (RDRRAC), told MindaNews that there is a group interested in destabilizing the peace and order condition of the city with a series of carnapping cases and various syndicated crimes.

She bared that human rights groups are meeting with city councilor Marlene Young, of the committee on civil, political rights and responsibilities, to assess the situation and identify measures on how to effectively curb criminalization.

“There is an initiative now to involve the civilian communities in these efforts, among them a plan to conduct a prayer-rally against crimes at the city plaza on August 24,” Borres said.

Young said that her office wanted the reactivation of barangay-based tanods (guards) and to systematize the barangay intelligence network. She said that the city may need to institute curfew hours when necessary and conduct intensive information and education campaign as to how to help prevent crimes.

“The ICPO must double its efforts to 200% and must study how to handle criminals with illegal weapons. We may seek the assistance of soldiers to augment our police force,” Young said.

“We may conduct indignation rallies to dramatize our problems on security and we legislators will also formulate solutions that is well thought of,” she said. Young said that there is also a need for the city government to conduct a barangay-based education on the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, or Republic Act 9344, to have detailed measures on how to solve crimes involving minors or children in conflict with the laws. This government must also establish youth rehabilitation and detention centers for youth offenders, she said.

To improve the police force’s intelligence measures, Sr. Supt. Bernardo Reamon Jr., the city police chief, sought the deployment of at least two policemen at the Information and Communications Technology Center (ICTC) at city hall so they will have round-the-clock monitoring of the city’s strategic areas where closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras are stationed. Cruz said that the ICPO and the ICTC need to discuss about that matter.

Councilor Bayani Areola also organized the radio clubs of the city and to activate their services for information-based security.

He said that he will endorse to the office of the city mayor an executive order that will recognize radio clubs as partners for peace. (Violeta M. Gloria / MindaNews)