Sunday, September 4, 2011

From Jan-July… 
Bohol enjoys 67% crimes 
lesser compared to 2010 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept 3 (PIA) – Bohol enjoys a 67 percent decrease in crime incidence, a success local police authorities quickly attribute to the strong support communities gave for the local police. 

During his report to the Provincial Peace and Order Council in its regular meeting Friday in Guindulman, Bohol Police chief said while the decrease in crimes can be attributed the police anti-crime drives, but much of the credit should be given to the people for their unwavering support for the local police. 

Citing crime incidents in Bohol totaling 2,320 from January to July in 2010, PSSupt Constantino Barot pointed out through a power-point presentation the notable decrease for the same period this year at 1564 cases for index and non index crimes. 

In his bar graph presentation, Barot showed that in all months in 2011, crimes were lower compared to all the months in 2010. 

Police noted 607 cases of non index crimes in 2010 as compared to 317 in 2011. The decrease is pegged at 52.24% 

For index crimes, the Bohol Chief who hails from Negros but has a stint in Bohol way back in the early 90’s said they noted 1713 cases on index crimes in 2010 over 1247 in 2011. The decrease shows some 72.79%. 

Most alarming among the cases noted for the period is theft, which showed a consistent increase in incidence since April of this year to present. 

Police presentations showed that theft at 570 cases, constitutes 46% of all crimes recorded for the period. 

“The upward trend in the crime volume for the months of April to July, particularly on theft incidents can be prevented through the help of the citizens,” Bohol police authorities through PSSupt Barot bared. 

Following theft is robbery, which pegs at 25% OR 305 cases. 

Police authorities however have successful pulled down the incidents in July from an increasing trend since April peaking in June at 50 incidents. 

Robberies in July slid down to 37 cases, police records show. 

For the month of July, Alburquerque, Mabini and San Isidro posted a perfect slate for crime solution efficiency while the whole of Bohol police only recorded some 47%. 

San Isidro Police Station recorded 2 cases and solved them both, Alburquerque solved all of their 9 cases while Mabini solved all 16 of their cases recorded. (30)

HEAT on drug peddler 
Collared in buy-bust 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Sept 3 (PIA) – The government’s services caravan brings immediate result by bringing to stop the business of a social menace in Guindulman town when police operatives finally cuffed a slippery drug personality after months of surveillance. 

Victor Navarro, 38 years old native of Barangay Trinidad has been raided in his residence by virtue of search warrants issued by proper courts but has evaded conviction and has posted bail in several instances. 

Complaints by concerned citizens against Navarro peddling dangerous drugs and implicating police protection has pushed authorities to operate clandestinely. 

But, during the Health, Education, Agriculture and Tourism Caravan in the town, September 2, Navarro let his guards down assuming that the presence of many people in the town center can be a great venue to peddle his illegal wares. 

Little did he knew that the police authorities had a big surprise for him on that day. 

Fed up with the ease of bail for the arrests based on search warrants, the Provincial Police Investigation Bureau (PIB) devised a buy-bust operation using an asset to finally nail Navarro for an non-bailable offense. 

PSSupt Constantino Barot, during the Provincial Peace and order Council meeting Friday at the Saint Mary Academy bared the development just as Councilor Ephraim Licayan complained about the ease drug personalities walk out of jails. 

Barot claimed that Navarro has been twice arrested on strength of search warrants, the last time in fact had SWAT teams arriving seconds too late as they had to ram the doors of a restroom to find implicating evidence flushed to the toilets. 

Navarro also posted bail that time. 

According to an inventory report after the buybust, Navarro also yielded in his possession one small transparent plastic with white crystalline powder, one big pack of transparent plastic with white crystalline powder, two pieces valium, three pieces aluminum tinfoil, P500 pesos, seven pieces P100 bills, four pieces of unidentified tablets and a coin purse. 

The inventory signed by Julieto Castillo and Bartolome Asa was done immediately after the successful buy-bust operation around 12:00 noon. 

Barot explained to council members that in search warrant arrests, a suspect has to yield more than five grams of dangerous substance for the police to be assured a non-bailable offense. 

But on the case of buy-busts, section 5 of RA. 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of the Philippines makes all buy bust cases non-bailable owing too it nature as peddling drugs and dangerous substances. 

Punishment for its violation is life imprisonment to life sentence. (30)

Helmet compliance among 
Motorists, 99% says Barot 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol. Sept 3 (PIA) – Amidst seemingly heated opposition of the implementation of the helmet policy for motorcycle riders and their riders, PSSupt. Constantino Barot bared a 99.99% compliance among drivers in Tagbilaran City. 

Barot came up with the revelation during the Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting in Guindulman Bohol, September 2. 

The statement also came two days after local police and traffic authorities implemented the mandatory use of helmets while driving motorcycles, at least within Tagbilaran City. 

According to section 48 of the land Transportation and Traffic Rules or Republic Act 4136, no person shall operate a motor vehicle on any highway recklessly or without reasonable caution… so as to endanger the property or the safety or rights of any person or so as to cause excessive or unreasonable damage to the highway. 

While the same law is silent on the use of helmets, it can be gleaned that operating without protective gear will already constitute reckless driving, thus punishable by the law’s provisions, a traffic enforcer at the city, who asks not to be named explained.

Bohol was among the provinces that did not strictly implement the provisions of the Land Transportation and Traffic Rules of the country, says Land Transportation Officer Joel Maloloy-on, during the meeting. 

He added that his men would lead the intensification of the drive to ensure safety for motorcycle riding motorists. 

The implementation came more than a week after City Police chief Arcadio Jamora Jr. announced the instruction for his men to go for motorcyclists who operate motorcycles without helmets. 

Motorcycle riders and back riders then must wear helmets while those engaged in habal-habal would provide for the helmets of their passengers. 

The local police would reportedly ban children below ten years to ride motorcycles. 

Oppositors of the implementation of the helmet policy said it would be an added burden physically and financially while production helmets available in the markets are sub-standard and would defeat the protection purpose it could afford. 

Many also reason out that using full faced helmets can easily mask criminals who could conveniently slip through police checkpoints. 

On this, LTO Maloloy-on said studies from the LTO central Office has debunked the correlation between criminals and full faced helmets. 

On the other hand, supporters of the policy claim that helmets provide the necessary protection for drivers and backriders from accidents and causing undue injury to others. 

The order also came amidst a growing number of motorcycles impounded for being operated without plate numbers, or motorcyclists flagged down for driving without licenses or expired licenses, with unregistered or expired registrations. 

The orders also came following a saturation drive for the motorcycle riding criminals as included focus area fo the Police Integrated Patrol System (PIPS). 

Under the policy, first-time offenders of the helmet policy pays a fine of P1,500. 

Fines for second offense is P3,000, P5,000 on the third time, and P10,000 plus confiscation of the driver’s license for the fourth and succeeding offenses. 

A newer Mandatory Helmet Law still has no Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) so that local traffic officers and its deputized agents momentarily use RA 4136, city traffic supervisor Samonte said. (30)

Bluff saves embattled 
Cop from 3 gunmen 
By: Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

GUINDULMAN, Bohol. Sept 2 (PIA) – Learning the art of war proved useful for an embattled police officer who ran out of bullets but still forced gun wielding elements shooting at him to retreat Thursday morning in Sikatuna town. 

SPO4 Abundio Jala was checking on the veracity of reports that some strange men have been spotted in remote Sitio Can-Iro, Barangay Badiang of the town around 9:00 AM September 1 when the unidentified men shot at himm. 

The policeman, who reportedly comes from the village approached an abandoned house in the area cautiously when saw two men broiling bananas. 

As one of the men bent down, he saw a gun sticking out of the man’s waist, so he groped for his holstered gun, shared Inspector Wate. 

That time, somebody from a separate location shouted “Bantay kay naay iro!” 

Startled, the cop looked behind him, assuming there was a dog there, and when he did that, the two armed men who were now alerted by their companion, opened fire. 

Jala reportedly ducked towards protection, an abandoned outhouse for drying copra and shot it out. 

But after a while, he realized he was running out of ammunition fast. 

Staking one gambit, the holed out cop pretended he had with him a team of cops. 

There, he started shouting instructions on how to maneuver to encircle the gunmen enemies. 

The gunmen took the bait and fled. 

Inspector Wate, chief of the Sikatuna Police station, has also been cautious about such reports of sightings as he has also been receiving reports of similar incidents. 

At one forum with the police a few months ago, Inspector Wate also reported sightings of unidentified men in Sitio Sinak-ag Uwang of the town, but internal security operators could not validate the reports. 

The remote areas of Sikatuna, Sevilla and Bilar were at a certain time a favorite hiding areas of common criminals and insurgents waging their war against the government. 

But with Bohol having been cleared of insurgents since February of 2009, police and military authorities were quick to theorize that the gunment were not members of the New People’s Army (NPA). 

Military sources have reported the presence of semi legal teams (SLTs) of the Communist Party of the Philippines broken in small groups attempting to reorganize their mass base to prepare for the return of rebels here. 

But Colonel Constantino Barot admit that even the SLTs themselves carry at least a long firearm, unlike the group encountered by SPO4 Jala. 

The use of the term “iro” is unlikely for a rebel group, most likely for a criminal band, adds a police source in a separate interview. (30)

NCCA declares 8 watchtowers, 
Complex as national treasures 

GUINDULMAN, Bohol, Sept 2 (PIA) – Heritage workers here find a hope for the restoration of at least eight centuries-old towers in Bohol. 

These towers have been included in the heritage tourism attractions packages for Bohol but the cruel effects of time and temperate climate has been true disaster for these structures now slowly surrendering to fate and in danger of collapse. 

This as the National Commission for Culture and the Arts declares these Bohol sites and structures as National Cultural Treasures and feeds into them the necessary government funds to finance their restoration and conservation. 

Governor Edgar Chatto bares this in his weekly radio program aired all over Bohol from the first out-of town Kita ug ang Gobernador at a parish Center in Gundulman town, some estimated 70 kilometers east of Tagbilaran. 

The governor said the declaration can include these sites in the national cultural preservation program, which is the only hope for the restoration and preservation of these iconic structures now possessed by the church or private individuals and organizations. 

With the admitted scarcity of funds for their repair or restoration, most churches where these structures are incorporated could only gape in apparent helplessness as these historic structures give in to crumbles. 

The declaration of these structures came late but nevertheless helpful in our drive to let our people understand that these are important structures that contribute to our being a nation, stresses a heritage worker who is involved in a Cebu university documentary project for towers in the Visayas. 

National Cultural Treasures are unique objects found locally, possessing outstanding historical, cultural, artistic and/or scientific value, which is significant and important to the Philippines, according to the NCCA website. 

In Bohol, the NCCA declared the parish church and complex of San Agustin, Poblacion Panglao, the Castillo del San Vicente of PuntaCruz in Maribojoc, the crumbling watchtower at the mouth of the Loay River in Villalimpia Loay, the Dauis Church watchtower in Poblacion Dauis, Bandelion Hill Watchtower in Balilihan, the Panglao Watchtower in Panglao, the Pamilacan island Watchtower in Baclayon and the old Municipio and Escuela de Ninos y Ninas in Panglao. 

These towers also claim some of the country’s records for old Spanish buildings built in different shapes. 

Panglao tower, a five-storey octagonal structure built in 1851 has been touted as the country’s tallest watchtower has seen better days and its cracks on its walls owing to threats in its structural integrity pose a serious problem. Its pitched roof shows several missing slates, further decomposing its interiors causing the floors to collapse. 

On the other hand, the hexagonal Dauis watchtower rises three floors up and was built by the Augustinian Recollects in 1774 and sports tassel like decorations in its roof eaves and has cantilevered beams. 

Castillo de San Vicente, or the PuntaCruz watchtower is a triangular two-storey structure built by the Augustinian recollects in 1796 at Punta Cruz, in Maribojoc, Bohol’s southwestern most part. 

A much larger structure than Maribojoc is the town sitting at the northern edge of Pamilacan Island around 20 kilometers from mainland Bohol in Baclayon town. Cracks in its walls show its bad state and needs its most immediate repair. 

The Villalimpia watchtower, the most diminutive of all towers in Bohol was said to be dated early 19th Century says historian Regalado Jose in his books. The tides, which get to the tower’s foundations has caused its crumble. 

Bandelion Hill Watchtower in Balilihan is a square-based two storey tower that has gone minor restoration recently. (30)

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