Crimes soar in Davao with onset of rotational brownouts – police

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 8 May) – Crime incidence in this city increased by 20 percent at the start of the rotational brownouts, data from the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) revealed.

Speaking at the AFP-PNP Media Forum at the Royal Mandaya Hotel last Wednesday, DCPO chief Vicente Danao told reporters that the figures were in stark contrast to the 35-percent reduction in crime figures from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014.

He said most of the incidents committed since the brownouts started were crimes against persons and against property.

“Stay home. If you really don’t have somewhere to go during the brownouts, don’t leave your homes because that’s when the criminals are taking advantage of the cover of darkness,” Danao said.

He added that the darkness due to brownouts also interfered with police operations. “We can’t see in the dark,” Danao said, citing that police officers would find it difficult to see beyond 10 meters during brownouts.

He also doubts whether the CCTV cameras installed in strategic areas in the city have the capability to see in the dark.

Task Force Davao, the batallion tasked to protect the city from terrorism, has also pitched in, according to TFD head Casiano Monilla.

He said that the TFD has supplied the city seven four-man, two-motorcycle teams to help monitor the area, especially during brownouts, to help increase law enforcement visibility.

TFD units have also been deployed in areas as far as Calinan and Catalunan Grande.

Danao, meanwhile, asked the Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC) to immediately address the power situation.

In a statement, DLPC said Wednesday that the National Power Corporation (NPC), through the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), has reduced DLPC’s power allocation by 18 megawatts. This drops the supply allocation from 120MW last week to 102MW starting Wednesday.

DLPC’s contracted supply with NPC was 280MW.

The reduction, the DLPC statement said, “forced Davao Light to increase the length of its scheduled rotating brownouts from 6 hours to 7.5 hours.” Brownouts would be 5 hours long during peak hours and 2.5 hours during off peak hours.