Osmeña: Cebu is âcriminal cityâ
Osmeña agrees on the description made by his critic, Councilor Pastor Alcover Jr. The mayor said he could not dispute it because the number of killings in the city is rising. He also admitted earlier that the city is no longer safe.
Osmeña: Cebu is “criminal city”
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - July 31, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — No less than Mayor Tomas Osmeña has branded Cebu City as a “criminal city” because of the series of killings.

Osmeña agrees on the description made by his critic, Councilor Pastor Alcover Jr. The mayor said he could not dispute it because the number of killings in the city is rising. He also admitted earlier that the city is no longer safe.

“They say Cebu is safe. It’s not safe. I told you that already. It’s not safe. Something is wrong. Something is out of place,” Osmeña said.

Alcover earlier expressed his frustrations about the series of unresolved killings in the city. He urged the mayor to do something to ensure the peace and order of the city.

Alcover said he will sponsor a resolution in the next regular session asking all churches to hold a nightly vigil to stop the killings.

“Cebu City is no longer Queen City of the South. It’s now a criminal city. Gihimo nila’g impyerno ang Cebu. How can we attract investors? I challenge the mayor to do something to preserve peace and order in the city,” Alcover told The FREEMAN.

Osmeña said he will give Cebu City Police Office Director Royina Garma a chance to solve all the killings. The mayor said Garma should look into the killings especially the alleged involvement of police officers.

Osmeña admitted that he cannot read the real situation of the city, stressing that he will continue his job of ensuring the safety of his constituents above all else.

Asked of his measure to address the safety problem of the city, the mayor said he plans to train and arm the barangay tanods and the barangay captains.

“We will have to strongly reinforce the barangay tanods. I will have to push for the arming and training of the barangay tanods. We have to take a more aggressive posture against criminality,” he told reporters.

He, however, said that stricter qualifications must be imposed to avoid abuses. The mayor said that the city government has to make a move because of the present state of the city.

“My priority, I will not compromise the safety of the city. Right now, let me just read the cards before I make a move. My move right now is let Garma answer for all of these. She’s now abroad,” he said.

Last Friday an official of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency was killed in an ambush. PDEA-7 assistant operations chief Baby “Earl” Rallos was on his way home when shot by still unidentified assailants near the Cebu Provincial Capitol compound.

Yesterday, Tejero Barangay Councilman Jessielou Cadungog survived a botched assassination by a police officer and his asset. The policeman was killed by Cadungog’s bodyguard while the asset is now in police custody.

Police Regional Office-7 director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, however, denied there was an ambush. Sinas said the police and his asset came from a surveillance operation in Barangay Tejero.

Contrary to Osmeña and Alcover’s claim, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella believes that the city is still relatively safe for law-abiding citizens. (FREEMAN)

TOMAS OSMEñA
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