Barangays hosting the resorts in the tourist town ofPanglaowoke up one day with peace and order already deteriorating.
Both Panglao Mayor Benedicto Alcala and Municipal Councilor Edward Mejos—chairman of Sangguniang Bayan Committee on Peace and Order—admitted this as they sought extra effort from police forces.
The mayor, however, assured that the situation is still under his control.
He believes criminals from outside the town gain grounds by befriending local folks.
Drugs, burglary, robbery and hold-up have already become rampant, according to the officials.
At the height of criminalities, the police put up checkpoints in town and the adjacent areas.
According to Mejos there have been six victims of hold-up in Tawala and Danao since the start of the year, which threatened visitors and investors.
On this, Mejos said he coordinated with the local police to address the concerns.
It is also in barangays Tawala and Danao that drugs have been monitored to be rampant, according to Mejos.
Danao Barangay Captain Necito Liquit admitted that drugs—which the mayor also admitted earlier as the roots of all the crimes in his town—have been rampant in his place.
Liquit said that the entire barangay council even join the roving tanods in patrolling at night and noticed that young people on motorcycles stay up until the wee hours.
They had even apprehended a person possessing 51 sachets containing shabu, but were surprised to see the suspect already a free man the next day.
He said the presence of foreigners made it difficult for them to implement the curfew.
The drug users and pushers must have underestimated the capacity of the barangay officials to implement the law as they must have noticed also that the officials have been so lenient, he added.
Liquit said they had been finding ways to stop the illegal activities in his barangay, but they have a hard time producing the legal requisites—such as search warrants, warrants of arrests, and other documents–to apprehend individuals engaged in illegal activities.
Mejos raised the concern on the rising crime rate in the town, especially barangays Tawala and Danao–which host resorts frequented by tourists.
The councilor raised the concerns during the regular session of the SB last Monday to push local officials into action to address the problem.
In fact, Mejos’ son had recently been held up right in front of their residence. From the experience, Mejos realized how criminals had become so daring these days.
This prompted the councilor to propose the creation of an auxiliary police who can assist authorities in maintaining peace and order of Panglao.
Police Inspector Jojet Mananquil, OIC of the Tourist Police, said that they deployed 50 cops to Alona area to ensure the safety of the tourists and the residents in the area during the Holy Week.
Alcala, for his part, called on the people to help in information gathering instead of entrusting everything to the police.
The mayor said the Civilian Auxiliary Police can assist the local police in monitoring the activities of people coming in and out of the town.
Alcala reiterated that he always mention in barangay assemblies that residents must stay vigilant and report to the police the presence suspicious individuals.
He warned that businessmen might withdraw their investments which might affect the town’s economy.
Check for PRC Board Exam results at PRCPassers.com