Rev. Fr. Gamaliel Simbajon blesses the newly acquired mountain bikes for Cebu City Police Office. The bicycle squad will augment the city police’s visibility patrol.
Aldo Nelbert Banaynal
CCPO to deploy bike cops in subdivisions
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo, Mae Clydyl L. Avila (The Freeman) - August 14, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Amid the spate of killings in Metro Cebu, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) launched the 30-man Bike Patrol Team tasked to conduct roving inside subdivisions to increase police visibility and eliminate opportunity for crimes.

Senior Superintendent Royina Garma, director of CCPO, said the subdivisions will be identified by the respective police stations and the teams will be divided into four shifts.

Garma said that immediate response to crimes will not be a problem since the team is equipped with proper communication equipment to report to nearby units using patrol cars.

“It is more on police presence. At least ang mga tao sa subdivision will have an opportunity to establish contact with policemen on bike patrol,” she said.

The launching of the bike team was made possible after a private establishment donated bicycles worth P30,000 each to CCPO.

She said the policemen deployed in the bike team will come from either the 11 police stations or from the Highway Patrol Group.

Garma previously said that it was brought to their attention that the police have overlooked the security in subdivisions because of the in-house security force.

But following the killing of lawyer Salvador Solima inside his residence in Barangay Guadalupe on July 2, they have included in their priorities crime prevention in private properties.

Meanwhile, Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas (LTO-7) Director Victor Caindec, who was at the launching in Camp Sotero Cabahug, assured that all police vehicles will be have easier registration process.

“We will do a one-stop shop for them (cops). We will simplify the process,” Caindec said.

On the other hand, despite the deployment of a team of personnel from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) at dawn, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña will not reinstate the city’s support for the maintenance and registration of city-owned vehicles issued to the police.

While saying that the deployment is “better” for peace and order, the mayor said he has to reassess and evaluate the deployment of SWAT in the city from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

“I have to assess the whole thing because it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the policemen are involved. And besides, what I’m doing, I’m just establishing my authority. I don’t want to make it appear that they can bully me,” he told reporters.

The mayor has been engaged in an apparent word war with police officials because of the series of killings in the city.  Osmeña said the city will no longer shoulder the payment for the maintenance and registration of 40 four-wheeled vehicles and 50 motorcycles that are issued to the police.

He said his decision is not “life-threatening” for the security and safety of the Cebuanos.

The mayor said the police are even maintaining their own vehicles. That is why there’s no reason for them not to maintain the city-owned vehicles issued to them.

“Better (deployment of SWAT personnel). Maybe that means..we’ll see if there’s another incident where Tommy Osmeña gets shot and they will not respond, then you know they’re really involved,” the mayor said in jest.

Osmeña believed that the police will not deploy SWAT team and police officers in the city if he has not been vocal against them.

“If I were not hitting back at them, they will not be doing these things. Believe me. They did not do it the past 12 months. They did not do anything. And now they’re having the SWAT move around. They’re just trying to react on me. So I’m pressuring them. So they’re trying to do something that,” he said.

He added this is one of his ways to contribute to the peace and order of the city.

On the plan of the PNP to deploy personnel of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) in Barangay Ermita, Osmeña said it is a good move and it can be very effective solution to lessen and stop the drug problem in the area.

Barangay Ermita acting chief village Efe Rupinta also supports the proposal, saying it will help the barangay in the fight against drugs.

Rupinta said the barangay officials and the PNP will have a meeting today. — Carl James T. Cabarles (FREEMAN)

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