MANILA, Philippines – A Church official based in Basilan accused members of the Philippine National Police and local authorities of merely being "reactionary" to the several crime incidents in the province.
"Problema dito ang hindi pagiging pro-active ng mga otoridad na nagre-react lamang kapag may nangyari nang krimen," Basilan bishop Martin Jumoad told Church-run Radio Veritas.
Jumoad said he had met with Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales yesterday morning (Dec. 13) to discuss the peace and order situation in Basilan.
"Sinabi ko rin sa kanya ang masamang pamamalakad ng local government dito sa lalawigan kung saan walang serbisyo publiko, we have bad roads, maraming residente ang naghihirap," the bishop said.
He added that the local police lack the logistics and provisions to go after criminals operating in the province.
"Sabi ko kay Secretary Gonzales, paano makaka-respond at mapangalagaan ng mga pulis ang seguridad sa lalawigan gayong wala silang sasakyan para maka-respond sa kaso ng kidnapping tulad ng nangyaring kidnapping kay Dr. Orlando Fajardo, vice president ng Basilan State College ay walang mga sasakyan ang mga pulis maging ang Special Action Force na nakatalaga dito ay mga sasakyan. Kung meron mang sasakyan wala namang gasoline so affected ang mobility ng PNP dito," Jumoad said.
He also noted that there is "no peace at all, there is kidnapping, there is beheading, there is also jailbreak. Ang jailbreak naman ay parang pattern na every year. Noong 2007, 2008 at ngayong 2009 mayroon na namang jailbreak. I told secretary Gonzales, we have already enough of this in Basilan."
Jumoad earlier called on President Arroyo to declare martial law in Basilan to address the problem of prevalent lawlessness in the province.