After Typhoon Odette hit: Bol-anons now ‘vulnerable’ to crime
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Many of the Bohol residents are now “vulnerable” to criminal elements who may want to take advantage of their situation, but police assured that their province has remained “peaceful.”
Police Lieutenant Thomas Zen, information officer of the Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO), said that three weeks after Typhoon Odette hit, several areas in their 47 towns remain isolated because of lack of power and communication difficulties.
Many of their police stations were also badly damaged by the typhoon.
But Zen said they are doing their best to ensure the safety and security of all Bol-anons during these trying times.
And as a crime deterrence, Zen said, they are trying to intensify their police visibility efforts especially in areas that are still without power supply.
“Intensified actually yung maintenance ng peace and order kasi bukod sa nangyayaring crisis natin ngayon, ang iniisip kasi natin ngayon ay may mag prosper na mga crimes so priniprevent natin before pa mangyari,” Zen said.
So far, Zen said, they already recorded at least two incidents of looting that happened in the last two weeks. Both remain under investigation.
Zen said at least 200 personnel of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB-7) have also been deployed to especially secure vital establishments like water and gasoline refilling stations and in areas where the repacking of relief goods are currently being done.
Some of the RMFB-7 personnel are also helping in the provincial government’s clearing operations.
Meanwhile, Zen said, they have been getting reports on alleged overpricing. However, no one has visited BPPO to lodge a formal complaint against abusive retailers.
Still, they continue to coordinate with concerned government agencies in case police assistance is needed especially in enforcing the arrest of those accused of overpricing.
Zen said their province did not record any firecracker-related injuries during the New Year’s Eve celebration. They did not also confiscated any illegally sold firecrackers.
Firecracker ban was implemented in their province during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.
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