Gordon calls for village watch groups to guard against crimes
To help put an end to the increasing number of killings, Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon on Monday called on the public to take part in the “process of change” by organizing watch groups that would guard against crimes.
Gordon, chair of the Senate committee on justice committee and human rights, said the administration’s campaign against crime and illegal drugs would become even more successful if the government and the people would have closer coordination and communication.
“With the New Year, we hope that the government will have closer partnership and communications with the population so together we can join forces in the battle against crimes, bring perpetrators to justice and show that the rule of law continues to prevail,” he said in a statement.
“We can better apprehend and obtain convictions against perpetrators of vigilante killings, including rogue policemen and any criminal, through the continuous participation of the people,” the senator said.
Gordon’s committee had investigated the alleged extrajudicial killings in the country but found no proof that these were state-sanctioned.
In its report, however, the committee noted the need for the people to be part of the process of change.
“To effectively put an end to the killings with impunity, people must be part of the process of change. People must organize village watch groups to guard against crimes, particularly the influx of drug dealers and pushers, in their respective areas,” the senator said in the report.
“The people themselves should be empowered to help transform their respective areas into ‘drug-free’ neighborhoods where their families may safely reside.”
Gordon cited as example his anti-illegal drugs campaign in Olongapo City when he was its mayor, which he said became successful because of the help of the Barangay Anti-Narcotics Group.
“In the old days in Olongapo, I had the Barangay Anti-Narcotics Group which had kids in school and people in the community who helped me weed out drug pushers. We drove them away from Olongapo. It has been proven that when people participate, the effort will succeed,” he said.
The senator said it was time for the citizens’ growing “apathy” to be replaced with “energized people participation” as the government continued its fight against crimes and illegal drugs.
“This is a golden opportunity to show the people that under our democracy, we are neither helpless nor hopeless. There is strength not just in numbers but also in consolidated efforts; the key is to maximize and harmonize these symbiotic endeavors to achieve optimum results,” Gordon said.
“We must synergize and work together to solve the problem on the rampant killings in the country.”
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