2011: A year of triumphs, challenges

Subscribe Now January 02, 2012 at 04:17pm

THE year 2011 witnessed a challenging year to the police and military in Davao Region. Law enforcement units in the region including the Police Regional Office (PRO), Davao City Police Office (DCPO), Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Army's 10th Infantry Division, Task Force Davao (TFD), Public Safety Command Center (PSCC), and even National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), found 2011 triumphant because of achievements and commitment to serve and protect the people at all times.

Drug test

It was disappointing that 15 police personnel, three soldiers, five personnel of the Traffic Management Center (TMC), and three personnel of the Central 911 in Davao Region were tested positive of illegal drugs following a series of random drug tests conducted by PDEA in September. Officials, however, took with optimism that the experience would never happen in 2012.

Of the 15 cops found positive of using drugs, 10 policemen are from Davao City Police Office (DCPO), two from Davao Oriental, two from Davao del Norte, and one from Davao del Sur, said Senior Inspector Gretchin Cinco, PRO assistant spokesperson.

Also, two soldiers from TFD and one from Army's 10th Infantry Division, and eight personnel from the Davao City Government were positive of drug use.

"We will not tolerate this. We will not allow abuses to be committed by our personnel," Chief Superintendent Jorge E. Corpuz, PRO-11 deputy director for administration said, adding that the Philippine National Police (PNP) has been working on to improve its image and this unwanted development will be a stain to the image-building efforts of the organization.

It can be recalled that Mayor Sara Duterte said that random drug tests at the City Government would continue until her term ends in 2013.

The mayor added that she wants all in Davao City free of drug users and drug dependent employees, while the PDEA under the leadership of Emerson R. Rosales vowed to continue their responsibility as drug enforcers.

The euphoria of the authorities on their achievements continues when the CIDG, under the leadership of Senior Superintendent Pedro B. Cabatingan, filed charges before the City Prosecution Office against three men they arrested after a raid in a cyber pornography den at Km. 11 Sasa in Davao City last April.

Cabatingan said the arrest of the suspects identified as John Michael Martisano, 31; Ferdinand Dahang, 32; and Jumar Sanchez, 23, came after a month-long surveillance on the cyber pornography activities of the suspects. The police also rescued five persons, some of them minors, during the raid.

The operation continues as the CIDG confiscated around seven hundred computer units and servers in a massive police raid on a business process outsourcing company (BPO) for allegedly selling pornographic materials at Sobrecarey Street on August.

Judge Isaac G. Robillo Jr. of the Regional Trial Court Branch 11 in Davao City issued the search warrant on Cyber City Teleservices, one of the pioneer BPO companies in the city. Some employees of the firm will be charged with violation of Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Republic Act 8792 or the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000, which provides for the recognition and use of electronic commercial and non-commercial transactions.

Chief Inspector Edilberto Leonardo, chief of CIDG-Task Force Maverick, said earlier assessment of forensic examiners on the computer units and domain server showed there was indeed selling of pornographic materials.

However, personnel of the CIDG were surprised when the fiscal dismissed the case against the call center for lack of evidence.

Prosecutor Gaye Canete-Magdagasang, in her resolution dated October 7, however, said: "There is, however, no showing or no evidence at hand or no proper description that would strengthen the claim of the officers (CIDG)."

Authorities remained unfaltered amidst troubles and difficulties -- the DCPO proved the PNP has remained the strong institution when they figured in a shootout with a suspected kidnapper of a six-year-old son of a businessman in Davao del Sur on October. The boy, a kindergarten pupil at Matina Central Elementary School, was rescued in Lizada Village in Toril.

Another year highlight was in August 2011 when authorities rescued some 10 young human trafficking victims from manpower recruitment quarters at Matina in Davao City.

The rescue operation, conducted on 747 Molave Street in Juna Subdivision in Matina, came after a resident of Mintal complained to authorities that his niece from Maguindanao was being held there and will only be released if he pays P15,000 for board and lodging.

The successive landslides in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, due to heavy rains will not be forgotten as well. These were the days when the military put their firearms down to assist other government personnel for the rescue and relief operations.

The incident resulted to three fatalities, injury of 10 people while 22 others were missing in Kingking village due to the landslide at 7 a.m. of April 22. Reports said a similar landslide struck the village of Kingking on the same site and a nearby community in 2009, leaving 21 dead, including children.

On March 3, a miner was killed while five others were injured when another landslide hit a gold-rush area in Pantukan. The mudslide happened around 12 p.m. in the village of Kingking in Pantukan, after three days of continuous heavy rain.

On August 16, three small-scale miners died while four others were injured when a landslide hit a mining area in Sitio Tagutong, Barangay Andap in Compostela Valley Province, at around 7 p.m.

Despite the stern warning, illegal miners and their families have defied government warnings and built bunkhouses and shanties near where they eke out a living by digging in narrow, dangerous shafts, where accidents are common.

Despite the challenges, tragedies and successes, one thing is important -- that people must learn from the past and face the 2012 with optimism.

Source: sunstar.com.ph



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