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Opinion

EDITORIAL - No safety at home

The Philippine Star

In Mindanao, kidnappers are raking it in, with millions in ransom reportedly being paid and never recovered, and the money laundered with ease. Even a town mayor was seized right in her own home, held for several months, and freed reportedly after paying ransom.

Kidnappers no longer bother to pretend calling the payments “board and lodging fees.” The huge profits guarantee that there will be more ransom kidnappings ahead, with tourist destinations among the most vulnerable.

In Metro Manila, the favorite victims of kidnappers remain on alert for any resurgence of the threat, especially with the approach of elections. Apart from kidnappings, there have been alarming reports in recent weeks of robbers breaking into homes in certain subdivisions, tying up residents at gunpoint and then ransacking houses. No arrests have been made.

There are reports that some victims, fearful that cops themselves or barangay personnel might be involved, have not bothered to file burglary complaints if no one in the household has been harmed. With public officials preoccupied with the forthcoming elections, there are also concerns that reporting such complaints to the police will just be a waste of time.

Authorities must assure the public that this is not the case. The state is mandated to keep people safe, especially in their own homes. A system must be developed for quick reporting of violent break-ins and burglaries and, equally important, quick police response. Barangay offices are supposed to have such a system in place, in coordination with the police. Hotlines must be set up and residents informed of the numbers to call. State protection is not just for a few VIPs. The government needs to step up its efforts to keep everyone safe.

 

ACIRC

BARANGAY

COMPLAINTS

ELECTIONS

ESPECIALLY

HOMES

IN METRO MANILA

IN MINDANAO

KIDNAPPERS

POLICE

RANSOM

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