GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/4 July) – The city’s peace and order situation has significantly improved in the last six months, with the total number of crime incidents in the area dropping by at least 23 percent.
Supt. Rolly Octavio, deputy city police director for administration, said Tuesday they have recorded 228 crime incidents within the city from January to June this year or 68 less than last year’s total crime volume of 296 during the period.
He said the number of crimes against person slightly dropped to 65 from 66 last year while the crimes against property significantly went down with only 163 from last year’s 230 incidents.
“These only shows that our crime prevention strategies were working properly and we’ve been getting enough support from our local communities,” Octavio said.
For the crime against person, the police official said the reported homicide, physical injuries and rape cases posted decreases in number but murder cases in the area increased significantly during the period.
He said they only recorded only one homicide case compared to the two in the same period last year while the number of physical injury cases dropped to 33 from 35 last year.
Octavio said they only monitored five rape cases compared to 11 in the same period last year.
But for murder, the number of reported cases within the city’s 26 barangays increased to 26 from only 18 last year.
Among them was the killing last January of Tatak News publisher Christopher Guarin in Barangay Lagao.
Police officials had tagged an alleged notorious gun-for-hire operating in the city as behind Guarin’s murder but the latter has remained at-large.
Citing results of their investigation, Octavio attributed the increase in the number of murders to the influence of alcohol and operations of alleged guns-for-hire, especially by suspects riding motorcycles in tandem.
City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio said some of the previous murder cases in the city were also triggered by long-standing land conflicts in several parts of the city.
The city government has sought the intervention of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples in resolving the pending ancestral domain claims in the city to prevent more bloodshed among conflicting land claimants.
Meantime, for the crimes against properties, Octavio said they only recorded 76 cases of robbery, 64 theft, 23 carnapping and zero for cattle rustling.
Last year’s robbery cases hit 107 followed by theft with 100, carnapping with 24 and cattle rustling with one. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)