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Freeman Region

After series of burglaries Gov warns mayors, cops “Alarming and embarrassing to the province” —VG

Marchel P. Espina - The Freeman

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — Following the series of robberies in the city and town halls in Negros Occidental in the past three months, Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. ordered the mayors to be vigilant while he warned the police chiefs in the province to shape up or be shipped out to Tawi-Tawi.

Marañon issued the statement after the Treasurer's Offices of Valladolid and Moises Padilla towns have been ransacked by unidentified suspects over the weekend, making it the sixth government office in the province that was burgled since July this year.

As this developed, Vice Governor Eugenio Jose "Bong" Lacson also lamented that the incident was not only alarming but an embarrassment to the province, as he questioned why the police have not yet identify the perpetrators behind the burglaries.

"I don't understand how it can happen. After the first two or three LGUs, we should be concerned and more vigilant," said Lacson.

Other LGUs should have taken extra precautions to protect their offices, he said, while urging LGUs to install CCTV cameras, even only at the Treasurer's Office, and coordinate with the barangays for security support.

Marañon believed that the suspects may have inside accomplices in most of the incidents. "It was easy for them" to break in the offices, he said, as he directed the mayors to secure their city and municipal halls to deter a similar incident in the future.

He said the installation of closed-circuit television cameras for LGUs may be included in the proposed budget for next year.

Further, Marañon ordered the police chiefs to shape up or ship out, although he admitted that there are few policemen assigned here. There is no problem with the peace and order situation in the province, only the ransacking of city and municipals halls, he said.

Senior Superintendent Milko Lirazan, director of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, said the probe on the series of burglaries are still going on, and investigators must also determine if there were security lapses or if there was an inside job, perpetrated by the same group.

Lirazan also warned the police chiefs to beef up the security in their areas of responsibility or else they will be relieved.

Lirazan said the unidentified burglars took P48,000 worth of cash from the steel cabinet of the Treasurer's Office of the Valladolid Municipal Hall, Friday night. There was no building security at the time.

It was 55-year-old Ronnie Cabuay, building watchman, who discovered that the office door was broken, and reported the incident to the police only on Saturday, October 11.

The next day, burglars also ransacked the Treasurer's Office of Moises Padilla Town Hall, but they were unable to take anything, Lirazan said.

Other LGUs that were burglarized in the past three months were Hinobaan and Cauayan towns and Bago City, and Escalante City.

Also, the Treasurer's Office of Calatrava town was burglarized in February this year when the perpetrators carted away at least P120,000 cash.

BAGO CITY

ESCALANTE CITY

GOVERNOR ALFREDO MARA

HINOBAAN AND CAUAYAN

LACSON

LIRAZAN

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL POLICE PROVINCIAL OFFICE

OFFICE

OFFICE OF CALATRAVA

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