Central Mindanao cops arrest 218 in 34 days
KORONADAL CITY—Police in Central Mindanao announced the arrest of 218 wanted persons in just 34 days in a campaign that a top regional police official said broke records and showed that there was more to the anticriminality drive than just killings.
Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales, Central Mindanao police chief, said the arrests, made between Jan. 5 to Feb. 8 were a record in the regional police’s campaign to bring in the most wanted persons in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, North Cotabato and Sarangani.
The arrests, according to Morales, would show that “we are currently using the full force of the law” in the fight against criminality and drugs.
58 most wanted
Of the 218 persons arrested, 58 were listed as most wanted. At least 160 of the arrested suspects faced less serious offenses.
Those on the most wanted list had been charged with murder, drug offenses, robbery, homicide and qualified theft.
Data from the regional police office showed that the most arrests were made by the South Cotabato provincial police which took in 17 of the wanted persons. Police in Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato arrested 10.
The Sarangani police arrested eight. Seven of the wanted persons were arrested in General Santos City and six in Cotabato City.
Long arm of the law
Morales said law enforcers would eventually catch up with others on the most wanted list of the regional police who continued to elude capture. “Surely, sooner or later, they will be behind bars,” said Morales.
He said the war on drugs also continued in different areas of Central Mindanao.
On Monday, police in Isulan town, Sultan Kudarat, arrested a family of three for possession and sale of drugs— Badrudin Sumensil, his wife Bebeng Guindal and their son Aljhon, all residents of the village of Impao.
Chief Insp. Aldrin Gonzales, speaking for the Central Mindanao police, said the number of casualties in the war on drugs in the region was low because police were using “minimal force.”
According to Gonzales, one of the few instances when police had to resort to firing their guns was during a Feb. 9 raid in Malapatan town, Sarangani, which led to the wounding of two suspects, including a village councilor.
“No extrajudicial killing here,” said Gonzales. —EDWIN O. FERNANDEZ
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