By: Jennifer C. Tilos
DUMAGUETE CITY (PIA) — Despite the 32 shooting incidents reported last year, Dumaguete City Chief of Police Col. James Goforth maintained that Dumaguete City remains generally peaceful.
During a City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) meeting, P/Supt. Goforth vehemently denied reports that extra-judicial killing is happening in the city, as he explained that out of the 32 cases, 20 were drug-related based on evidence presented while 10 cases have been solved.
The police chief reported that shooting incidents in the previous years were higher, with 39 in 2009, 27 in 2010, and 32 in 2011.
In 2012, the cases drastically decreased to 13 incidents.
Some sectors in the city condemned the spate of killings, which the city police official claimed are drug-related incidents as some drug personalities are reportedly in a “drugs war.”
Goforth said that even with the growing number of tourist arrivals in Dumaguete City, “so far there is no record of foreign nationals with social standing who were gunned down, indicating that the city is still peaceful.”
Nevertheless, Dumaguete City Mayor Manuel ‘Chiquiting’ Sagarbarria directed the chief of police to give an accurate crime situation report directly to some sectors such as the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-NegOr chapter, church, businessmen, among others.
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Negros Oriental Chapter president Atty. Myles Nicholas Bejar, during the CPOC meeting, noted that the report of the Philippine National Police (PNP) “actually speaks the different story,” referring to the facts and figures that were presented.
Mayor Sagarbarria raised his concerns on some inaccurate crime reports that may affect not only the business climate of the city but also human rights.
“ A safe and secure environment is an important factor in fostering investment as we need more business here to create more jobs for the people,” said Sagarbarria.
In support of the crime prevention drive, Sagarbarria said the city government has distributed 81 cellphones to barangay officials in 30 barangays to help in the anti-crime crackdown by reporting timely and accurate information.
Moreover, the city police station has increased its police patrols from five to six check points everyday to catch motorists bringing loose of illegal firearms.
Goforth assured that his office has intensified crime solution measures and asked local residents to cooperate in curbing criminality. (rmn/JCT/PIA7-Negros Oriental)