MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/04 April) – The city government is pursuing its plan to create its own local police auxiliary unit, Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri told a press conference recently amid the reported shortage of police officers.
Zubiri expressed optimism that the city government will get the Department of Interior and Local Government’s approval for an initial 40-member police auxiliary unit.
He said his recent meeting with DILG Secretary Jess Robredo was “encouraging,” adding the secretary acknowledged receipt of his proposal and “seems to favor” it.
He said the city government’s plan might be considered despite an order suspending the use of police auxiliaries following the Ampatuan massacre in Maguindanao province where 58 persons were killed.
Zubiri cited the city’s insurgency problem as one reason for the plan to form a police auxiliary unit.
Earlier in March, three police investigators from the Bukidnon provincial police office and another one from the Malaybapay police station were killed in an ambush by suspected New People’s Army rebels on their way to Mapayag village to investigate the killing of a former barangay captain.
In 2009, the city government organized the Special Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) Active Auxiliary (SCAA).
Zubiri said the city’s 87 policemen are not enough to serve its 146,000 residents.
The creation of a police auxiliary unit was also pushed earlier following the murder of Bukidnon State University instructor Jay Jaspher Santoninio in November 2010 and the robbery on January 31 this year on Development Bank of the Philippines personnel bringing some P500,000 for the bank’s ATM outlet at the city proper.
The robbery led to the death of security guard Pedro Cabalida.
Critics hit the city’s lack of police visibility, which they said has emboldened criminals. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)