THE Police Regional Office 7 has noted a 15 percent reduction in the total crime volume in the region this year compared to 2017 with all index and non-index crimes down, Chief Supt. Debold Ma.Sinas told the recent Joint National Peace and Order Council and 4th RPOC Cluster Meeting in Davao City.
The region’s police chief, Sinas said theft, physical injuries and robbery remain to be the most prevalent crimes even as the local police have been mounting a non-stop campaign against illegal drugs and other forms of criminality thru their regular conduct of ‘one-time, big-time’ operations this year.
But Sinas said they have recorded a significant reduction in those three most prevalent crimes compared to the figures from January to October this year except when it comes to murder, rape and homicide.
Under Sinas, the PRO7 has been adjudged the Top Regional Office in Crime Solution Efficiency this year after being given a 78 percent CSE by the Philippine National Police headquarters.
A 78 percent CSE means that 7 out of 10 crimes in the region are immediately solved by local police investigators.
From August to October, the PRO7 conducted a total of 2,058 anti-narcotics and anti-crime operations which resulted in the killing of 26 armed suspects during gunbattles with officers and the arrest of 3,012 others for various felonies.
The PRO7 remains tough when it comes to enforcing the PNP Oplan: Double Barrel aimed at arresting illegal drug activities in the region on orders of PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde. Last week alone, its agents seized nearly P14 million of suspected shabu and arrested over 200 suspects in a region-wide operation.
Its own ‘Oplan: Toktok-Hangyo or Tokhang activities during the period triggered the surrender of 75 confessed drug personalities, 18 of them included in the local police watch list of drug dealers and users.
The regional police force gives premium on arresting illegal drugs and other contrabands inside and outside provincial jails and other lock-up facilities in Central Visayas thru the regular greyhound operations called Oplan: Cerberus.
Sinas said they are checking jails in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and local jail wardens. A major raid at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center this year led in the confiscation of a huge amount of dangerous drugs, paraphernalia and different types of weapons.
This was followed by several successful operations in Central Visayas jails particularly those operated by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and the provincial governments.
The PRO7 is also getting big support from the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs including the Department of Interior and Local Government which is helping the local police conduct forums in different CV barangays to further raise awareness on the Duterte government’s anti-illegal drug policy.
The 1st Balay Silangan or drug reformation center in Central Visayas was launched in Danao City in Cebu last September 7. The center can initially accommodate 30 drug patients.
Sinas said the DILG, in cooperation with the PDEA and different civil society organizations, is leading the conduct of a performance audit for all ADACs in the region.
He said as of last month, a total of 2,792 or 97 percent of the 3,003 Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils in Region 7 and 92 or 69 percent of the 132 provincial/city/municipal ADACs have been audited.
Apart from fighting drugs and criminality, the PRO7 is also waging its own war against insurgency with help from the military. Army soldiers, supported by the local police, last September 3 clashed twice with heavily-armed New People’s Army rebels in Manjuyod and Ayungon municipalities in Negros Oriental. Those two encounters left one NPA rebel dead and two soldiers wounded.
Sinas said that the Committee on Legal Action in Region 7 is handling 53 cases in the region, 40 of them in Negros Oriental which is the focus of the regional police’s anti-insurgency program.
Sinas said that they have also been greatly preparing for the 2019 mid-term polls and has already activated the Regional Election Monitoring and Action Center while validating all election watchlist of areas or EWAS and potential threat groups in Central Visayas.