Cop chief: Cebu City still has low crime rate
Cebu City remains safe despite the recent spate of drive-by shootings that occurred even in broad daylight, the city’s top police official said yesterday.
“Despite our low strength, we have managed to decrease the crime rate,” said Senior Supt. Melvin Buenafe, but he didn’t provide statistics to support his statement.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday repeated his order to Buenafe during yesterday’s Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) assembly to replace the Carbon precinct chief immediately.
“I am very clear … The chief of the Carbon police precinct should be relieved and that is an instruction,” Rama said.
Buenafe stood up and nodded.
The mayor also asked barangay captains to applaud Buenafe. Buenafe said the city’s 944 policemen are detailed where they are mostly needed.
One policeman is assigned in each of the city’s 80 barangays to coordinate peace and order concerns with barangay officials, he said.
He said absentee police personnel will be summoned and sanctioned.
“I also enjoin the barangay tanods to be active and to coordinate with the police in the implementation of peace and order programs,” said Buenafe.
Earlier Rama said he wanted Chief Insp. Renero Agustin replaced as Carbon police precinct chief to serve as a lesson for other station commanders to always take their command responsibility seriously.
Agustin’s relief came after a police asset was shot down by unidentified motorycle-riding assailants in MC Briones Street, Carbon market site last Thursday noon.
The victim, Catalino Entoma, was walking with his girlfriend at the time of the shooting.
Last Thursday’s shooting was one of four drive-by shootings that occurred in Cebu City since Feb. 4.
The mayor told the ABC assembly that the city provided them with brand new motorcycles and opened M.C. Briones Street into a two-way road to allow police to reach the market area.
“I will not allow as your mayor that the city that we love will be in trouble because of this,” said Rama.
The shootings prompted Rep. Rachel del Mar of Cebu City’s north district to allocate funds for the city’s peace and order campaign.
Del Mar, who delivered her speech after Rama, said about P1 million will be allocated to each north district barangay captains in two tranches of P500,000 each.
“Last time, I requested you to use it for flood and drainage improvement projects. Now, I’m asking you to use it for peace and order projects so that the barangays in Cebu City will be a safe place for you and your children,” she said.