Cebu News

RPOC-7 to revive barangay spies

Kristine B. Quintas - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Top government and police officials in Cebu will meet within the week to discuss the reactivation of the Barangay Intelligence Networks (BIN), an anti-crime group created to improve and maintain the region’s peace and order.

Governor Hilario Davide III, Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC)-7 chairman, said he will meet with the Department of Interior and Local Government-7 Director Rene Burdeos and Chief Superintendent Noli Taliño, Police Regional Office-7 director, and come up with plans and programs for the BINs.

The trainings for the BIN members are among the priorities once BINs are activated anew, he said.

The BIN members have been required to undergo trainings on intelligence gathering, on basic public safety, on basic investigation, on information relay, on arresting techniques and ethical standards, on special laws, and on spotting criminal and monitoring street crimes, among others.

Davide said RPOC has an appropriation of P5 million that can be utilized for the trainings, workshops, and seminars of BIN members and disaster officers. He said the fund is still unutilized.

“The suggestion of DILG is to use the fund for trainings and seminars. It can be allotted for BINs and other areas where the fund can be used like for disasters,” he said.

Davide has recognized the importance of BIN in disseminating reliable information to authorities.

Interior Undersecretary Austere Panadero earlier urged all local government units in Central Visayas to form the BIN to help contain criminal activities, particularly the threat of terrorist groups in the region.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) undersecretary made the call during the RPOC meeting on May 3 following the gun battle between government troops and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the towns of Inabanga and Clarin, Bohol last month.

Panadero told the mayors, the barangay captains and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC)-7 to prioritize the creation of BINs, especially in the coastal areas.

Panadero said other barangays in the provinces of Cebu and Siquijor could use Bohol’s BIN system as a benchmark in forming their respective intelligence networks.

The creation of BIN, which is part of the auxiliary police force, is actually mandated by the DILG and so it is expected that each LGU has an established intelligence network already.

But some of the BINs in the region have reportedly been sitting idle for years now due to lack of financial support and supervision.

Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto earlier said the Bohol clashes have proven the efficacy of the province’s BIN and the importance of community participation in containing terrorism and ensuring public safety.

Chatto said LGUs should not only settle by only forming BINs but should also look into the degree and level of their preparedness.

Panadero said community participation is the most potent measure in the fight against any form of criminality, including terrorism.

Davide echoed Chatto and Panadero’s statements, saying “No substitute for vigilance and preparation because they (Abu Sayyaf bandits) can strike anytime and anywhere.” (FREEMAN)

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