KABACAN, North Cotabato (MindaNews/14 August) – Police officials in the province have asked Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Jesse Robredo to augment the personnel of this town and help stabilize its peace and order situation.
The request to Robredo came after the spate of killings, explosion and bomb threats in the municipality, which will hold its 65th Foundation Anniversary on August 18.
Senior Supt. Cornelio Salinas, provincial police commander, told Robredo this town of 86,000 people only has 38 police personnel.
“That’s how big the problem is. So what I do is assign the PPSC (Provincial Public Safety Company) here at daytime. At night, they are at the provincial jail as it might be attacked again,” Salinas told Robredo during a meeting with Mayor George Tan, town police chief Supt. Raul Supiter and other local officials.
He added that the solution is to deploy additional police in the municipality.
Crime rate decreased
In his presentation, Supiter reported that as from January to August 13 this year, there were 40 crimes against persons, including 27 cases of murder.
Last year, there were 145 crimes against persons from January to August alone, although only nice murder cases were reported. Physical injuries topped the list.
The police chief explained that most of the cases involved family feuds and drugs.
Supiter said one of their problems is the refusal of some witnesses and family members to cooperate in the investigation.
Tan also explained that some grudges had actually originated outside of this town but that some victims are living or doing business here.
“Yung mga namamatay dito ay may mga atraso na ba,” added the mayor.
Local police meanwhile have have launched 33 anti-illegal drug operations and arrested 56 suspects since January.
Supiter said they recently seized 25 grams of shabu, with an estimated street value of P280,000.
“Here in Kabacan, this is already a big amount,” he told the officials.
Replying to a query from Robredo, Supiter said the drugs were coming “Pagalungan and Montawal towns in Maguindanao), and Pikit in North Cotabato.
But Robredo said that whatever the reason for the killings, it’s giving the town a bad name.
“Kahit na drug dealer ang pinapatay dito its not good for the town,” he said.
“I received several text messages from residents of Kabacan. Alam mo secretary, hindi na mapigil ang patayan dito. And it’s giving the town a bad name,” said the secretary, adding it was for this reason that he came here.
Robredo urged the police officials to file cases against the suspects to encourage witnesses to come out and cooperate. “Mag-uumpisa mag cooperate ang tao mag testigo kung nakakssampa ng kaso. If I feel secure, mag-tetestigo ako. If we need to put more people, more resources, I think we should do it.”
He urged the local authorities to stop these incidents saying it may affect the business community. (Keith Bacongco/MindaNews)