THE Police Regional Office 12 in Central Mindanao has emerged as the top police regional unit when it comes to dismantling organized criminal gangs and accounting for loose firearms and most wanted persons this year, the Journal Group learned yesterday.
During the recent Joint National Peace and Order Council and 4th RPOC Cluster Meeting in Davao City where Mindanao police forces and their Regional Peace and Order Councils or RPOCs recommended the extension of martial law in the region citing the fact that it has literally weakened the terrorists’ capability to strike against government forces, the PRO12 headed by Chief Superintendent Eliseo T. Rasco was cited for significantly reducing incidents of crime and terror with its peace and order campaign.
Records showed that the PRO12’s crime solution efficiency for the 3rd quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017 improved by 19.08 percent or from 54.26 percent to 73.34 percent this year.
On the other hand, the Total Crime Volume in the region went down by 1.76 percent or 86 crime incidents compared to the 3rd quarter of 2017 while the non-index crimes increased by 609 or 17.74 percent compared to the figures during the 3rd quarter of last year.
Law offenders arrested via warrantless arrest in the region also increased by 1,261 or 129 percent compared to the figures last year. What is most significant is the arrest of wanted persons which increased by 469 or 125 percent compared to the same period in 2017.
According to Rasco, a classmate from Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 of Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde, they have also dismantled 124 criminal gangs and accounted for 809 loose firearms during the period.
PRO9 agents likewise arrested 8 most wanted persons with rewards on their heads and conducted 984 anti-illegal gambling operations which led in the arrest of 1,644 persons and the seizure of nearly P600,000 in cash bets.
Rasco said during the 3rd quarter of the year, they have made a major dent in the campaign against New People’s Army’s insurgency, having scored a series of accomplishments against the leftist movement.
They include the neutralization of Jacob Rodenas alias ‘Jeco/Velum,’ the secretary of the Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee last September 16 and the surrender of Ricardo Dayday alias ‘Ka Amihan,’ the deputy secretary of the NPA Guerrilla Front 51 under its SMRPC last October 11.
During the period, one NPA rebel killed in a shootout with security troops; 15 arrested and 8 surrendered following negotiations with local authorities. Those operations also led in the confiscation of 7 improvised explosive devices being used by the rebels in attacking government forces.
Rasco said they also have neutralized a number of wanted terrorists in the region, many of them known for their involvement in deadly bombings in Central Mindanao. Among those killed in firefights with government troops were Bassir Sahar, a trained terror bomber; Samrud Embang, a suspect in the infamous General Santos City bombing who was shot dead in an anti-narcotics operation in Polomolok, South Cotabato last September 29; Nholds Salbo Ali and Patrick Ali Sandigan who were both killed in a hot pursuit operation in Mlang, North Cotabato last August 8; and Najib Pundug, another known bomb manufacturing expert who was killed in an operation in General Santos City last July 18.
When it comes to the crackdown against illegal drug trafficking and abuse, Rasco said they conducted 1,661 anti-narcotics operations which led in the arrest of 1,738 known drug personalities including 1,454 shabu dealers; and the killing of 142 armed suspects during gun battles with undercover officers.
Those anti-drug operations resulted in the recovery of nearly 3 kilograms of shabu, 500 kilos of dried marijuana leaves, 202 assorted unlicensed firearms and 38 explosives valued at nearly P50 million.
Rasco said they have been preventing and countering violent extremism with the help of the Regional Peace and Order Council 12 which launched the Oplan: Kapanalig in coordination with the PRO12, the Armed Forces and local government units.
“That campaign is aimed at addressing violent extremism and criminality in Soccskargen area thru the conduct of an effective law enforcement and maximum utilization of all available police, military and LGU assets on the ground,” the official said.
Rasco also gave credit to the full support they have been receiving from the Armed Forces specifically the Army’s 10th Infantry Division led by Major General Noel Clement in order to address bombings in the region.
He said that in coordination with LGUs, they and the military have also strictly implemented the ‘No ID, No Entry’ policy and the ‘Discipline Hours’ in General Santos City and Cotabato City to prevent the possible entry of persons carrying unauthorized weapons and explosives.
Rasco, however, said that they still have to fully address issues and concerns with the help of all LGUs, the military and other stakeholders in the region. He said that those issues include the age-old culture of ‘Rido’ of family vendetta which hampers the filing of cases against known law offenders.
“We have to really stop the practice in which victims and their families resort to vendetta attacks to get back at the families of their enemies,” he said while seeking the help of all concerned agencies and stakeholders as well as the acquisition of additional sea crafts to patrol the long coastlines in the region and help arrest drug personalities and bomb-makers and other terrorists seeking refuge in Moro Islamic Liberation Front-controlled territories in the region.