Thursday, 09 August 2012 11:22
As the rising crime incidents continue to happen in the many areas in the city, Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde yesterday recommended to bring back the police under the control and supervision of the local government unit.
In an interview, Iturralde recalled that when the local government still managed and supervised over the local police, the peace and order was good and manageable and the law enforcers were in control of the situation.
But Itturalde said when the Philippine National Police (PNP) took over the police force in 1980 there were already several changes that took place which could have contributed to the increased in crimes.
The vice mayor observed that Zamboangueño policemen have been transferred to other places in the country and in return have assigned policemen to this city who do not even know the city’s terrain and how to speak the dialect.
“There is a bill pending in the House of Representatives for the return of the police to the LGUs. I hope this will be tackled and approved because to me this will help solve the peace and order,” said Iturralde.
Under the present system, the security of the city falls under the responsibility of the national police.
“So why blame the city government for the rising crime?” Iturralde asked.
According to him, the city government has assisted the police in many ways like the construction of the police stations, handheld radios, firearms, vehicles and many other things.
Iturralde pointed out if the police is under the control of the city government, the mayor will have a hand in choosing the right policeman who is highly qualified to do the job.
When asked his reaction about the tarpaulin being displayed in downtown over the Universidad de Zamboanga (UZ) school building showing the number of gunshot victims, the vice mayor replied: “It has somehow affected the tourism promotion of the city.”
Iturralde said he is saddened about it as the city government is trying hard to boost the tourism program of the city.’
“That sign (tarpauli) there (at UZ) gives a very bad impression especially to our visitors. I hope the media will also help and to take it upon themselves to be responsible in such a way that whatever they report will not affect too much the city’s image to the world,” Iturralde stressed.
He said all Zamboangueños should be worried about this since nobody wants this things to happen.
By Nonong Santiago
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