“WE have to address this problem because potential crimes might happen if we just do nothing.”
This was the point raised by Councilor Romeo Calizo, chair of City Council’s committee on police, fire, and public safety during committee discussions on reports of gang wars in some public high schools in the city.
Based on police intelligence report, this has been happening particularly in the public high schools of Bonbon, Kauswagan, Bayabas, Nazareth, Lapasan, and Carmen. These groups are reportedly composed of members with ages ranging from 14 to 16.
A representative of the Department of Education informed the committee that there are department orders that mandate school heads to prohibit groups that are not legitimately within the educational curriculum. However, he said the school is just limited to counseling.
The school does not have the police power and will only call the attention of parents or ask the help of barangay tanods in diffusing any trouble, the Deped representative explained.
“As per experience, with the presence of police in every gate, especially at the start of a school year, there is a notable reduction of presence of gangs inside the school campus. Not even security guards or watchmen or barangay tanod can do this. Mas dako ang pagtahud sa mga pulis,” the Deped representative added.
While commending the police force, Calizo said their actions seem “useless” and can only be considered as a “perpetual cyclic manner” in handling these events.
“Ang pagdakop man gud sa ila is not enough, the police wala lang, dakpon lang sila, i-hand over sa City Social Welfare and Development then after a few counseling, ipagawas ra dayon,” Calizo pointed out.
With this, the councilor tasked the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office to come out with strategies which will be thoroughly discussed during the committee’s next meeting. (clo)