CRIME RATE DOWN BY 11%
Despite the unsolved killings, police records show that the crime rate in Cebu province went down by 11 percent for the first half of 2018 compared to the same period last year.
A report released by the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) on Wednesday showed that index crimes dropped from 2,132 to 1,591, while non-index crimes decreased from 8,063 to 6,942.
Index crimes are those involving crimes against persons such as murder, homicide, rape and physical injury, and crimes against property such as theft, robbery and carnapping.
Non-index crimes, on the other hand, are violations of special laws or local ordinances such as traffic violations.
“The figures will show that Cebu is a safer place and that the peace and order situation in the province continues to flourish,” said Senior Supt. Manuel Abrugena, director of the CPPO, in an interview.
“This has been the result of the constant coordination of the community, all stakeholders and the seriousness of the Philippine National Police to get rid of the criminals in the streets,” he added.
However, a tally made by CDN showed that at least 134 persons were killed in shooting incidents in Cebu, including Cebu City, over the last seven months.
Illegal drugs, however, remain a major concern of the police in Cebu.
The same report of the CPPO revealed that 2,035 persons were arrested in separate anti-drug operations throughout the province from January to July 2018.
This resulted to the confiscation of 2,661 grams of shabu and 424,370 grams of marijuana valued at P54 million.
Police Regional Director, Chief Supt. Debold Sinas said the illegal drug trade in Cebu has leveled up.
From the streets, he said drug transactions are now done to condominiums and other private areas.
Jails in Cebu, he added, are not even spared from the drug menace.
“I am very concerned with the jails,” Sinas said.
Just last Tuesday, a 17-year-old boy, who was arrested for purportedly selling illegal drugs in Barangay Apas, Cebu City, admitted that his source and contact person is an inmate of the Cebu City Jail.
Investigators are verifying his claim.
Sinas said PRO-7 is monitoring the jails in Cebu in the hope of addressing the illegal drug trade behind bars.
He said surprise inspections will be conducted inside the jails while signal jammers will be put up in the facilities to disrupt cell phone signals, disallowing any contact between inmates and outsiders.
“No matter how strict the procedures at the jails are, still contraband finds its way inside. We won’t blame anyone. Instead, we will work with our jail officers,” Sinas said.
The region’s top policeman said there will be no letup in their campaign against narcotics.
“The drug trade is a business. We need to deny both the market as well as the supply,” he said.
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, who sits as the chairman of Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC), was nonetheless happy that the crime rate in the province has dropped.
“The crime volume definitely reduced,” said the governor in an interview.
Despite the significant decrease, Abrugena said the police will not stop pursuing criminals.
“(We will enforce) police visibility and continuous operations especially against illegal drugs and put criminals behind bars,” he said.
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