MANILA – The Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) on Monday announced the arrest of a total of 955 violators in its aggressive operations against all forms of criminality in the region.
In a statement sent to Philippine News Agency (PNA), PRO-7 director Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba said during the period Nov. 13 to 19, around 253 drug personalities were arrested in 195 operations that netted 1,104.85 grams of shabu valued at PHP7.5 million, and 1,447 grams of marijuana valued at PHP173,640.
On firearms watch, 163 unlicensed guns and six explosives were “seized, confiscated, surrendered and recovered” in its164 operations that led to the arrest of 28 individuals.
Data complied also showed that 305 wanted persons were arrested for the past week; while 368 persons were arrested in 186 illegal gambling operations, with more than PHP30,500 in bet money seized.
Alba lauded the combined operating units of PRO-7 and Zamboanga Del Norte Police Provincial Office (PPO) for tracking down and arresting a drug suspect identified as John Mike Padios Olitres, who escaped from a custodial facility in Bacong, Negros Oriental on Nov. 16.
Olitres escaped from Bacong Municipal Police Station’s custodial facility at Barangay West Poblacion, Bacong, Negros Oriental and was captured on Saturday, (Nov. 19), in Dapitan City, Zamboanga Del Norte.
The suspect was brought to Dapitan City, Zamboanga Del Norte PPO, for proper disposition and later transferred to Bacong Municipal Police Station in Negros Oriental. The police are investigating the circumstances surrounding Olitres’ escape.
Meanwhile, Alba announced on Monday the launch of the PRO-7 92-Day Challenge of the Regional Director that was crafted to evaluate a unit commanders' performance as to their approaches in responding to the current crime trends, and the peace and order situation in their respective areas of responsibility.
The Central Visayas police chief said the 92-Day Challenge aims to sustain the accomplishments achieved through the untiring efforts of PRO-7 personnel in anti-criminality operations and community-related activities.
Alba said it will determine and award the best, while the least performing units will be re-evaluated and assessed by the PRO7 Placement Board if its commanders are still fit to retain their posts.
PRO-7 through the Office of the Chief of Regional Staff and Regional Plans and Strategy Management Division as the Secretariat, shall set forth the tasks for the successful 92-Day Challenge.
“Parameters are set to determine the best and least performing units from City and Provincial Headquarters, down to the City Police Stations, Component City Police Stations, Municipal Police Stations, and Maneuver units,” the regional police commander said.
“By January 23, 2023, all commanders shall render a ‘Peace and Order Address’ in the presence of their respective local chief executives and stakeholders on what they have accomplished given the timeline,” said Alba.
PRO 7 gears up for Yuletide season
In the meantime, Alba said security preparations for “Ligtas Paskuhan 2022” are well underway to ensure public security and safety during the Yuletide season.
“We are preparing for the expected influx of people in shopping malls, churches, transport terminals, and other public places for the holidays due to the easing of restrictions,” he said.
Alba said the Regional Tactical Operations Center will be monitoring activities during the forthcoming Christmas period leading to the New Year holidays and will also monitor all law enforcement and public safety operations by PNP units down to police stations, particularly the situation in churches and other places of convergence during the traditional Simbang Gabi or Misa de Gallo.
“PRO 7 will go on full alert one week before Christmas where more uniformed personnel will be deployed in churches, shopping malls, markets, parks, and other places of convergence, including airports, seaports, bus terminals, and hotels, to prevent and address criminality,” he said.
“Police visibility and patrol operations will be heightened for the security of churchgoers in the traditional Simbang Gabi, which will start on December 16. All unit commanders are directed to map their security plans as early as today and maximize police visibility around churches during the traditional Simbang Gabi and establishment of police assistance desks to deter crimes,” said Alba.
The PRO-7 chief said the PNP will also strictly implement Executive Order No. 28, Republic Act 7183 (An Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, and Use of Firecrackers and other Pyrotechnic Devices), to prevent the “loss of lives and limbs” due to the use of oversized and overweight firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices, such as Super Lolo, Lolo Thunder, giant bawang, giant whistle bomb, atomic bomb, large size Judas belt, Super Yolanda, Goodbye Philippines, Bin Laden, Boga, and Kabasi, among others.
“Mishandled firecrackers, including the risk brought about by the illegal discharge of firearms, must also be considered. In collaboration with other government agencies, LGUs, and stakeholders, The PNP Region 7 ensures enhanced criminality measures and public safety services are undertaken,” said Alba.
“Our key message is that there is no time for complacency. We take action and allow ourselves to work together for everyone's safety,” he added. (PNA)