Mayor orders intensification of no-plate, no-travel policy PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 January 2012 17:00

Mayor Celso Lobregat has directed law enforcers to double if not triple efforts in enforcing the no plate no travel policy for vehicles specifically motorcycles as a way of deterring crime incidents.

The mayor issued the directive during a conference of the City Peace and Order Council yesterday morning— the first meeting for 2012 where issues related to the recent spate of shooting incidents, reorganization of police personnel, the campaign against wanted persons and other peace and order concerns were tackled.

It has been observed that most of the shooting and other crime incidents that occurred in the city were perpetrated by motorcycle riding men and in most cases, these motorcycles were either stolen and or not registered, the chief executive said.

“Instructions were given for the police to intensify the no plate no travel policy”, the mayor said even as he noted that police authorities have beefed up security by intensifying visibility and mobile patrols.

He stressed that motorcycles with ho plates should be seized and the drivers charged, as it is a flagrant violation of existing laws. A massive crackdown on all vehicles plying with no appropriate plates should be conducted on a sustained basis.     The meeting, held at the City Hall conference room, lengthily discussed on the progress of the investigation being done on the different shooting cases starting November to December last year until the early part of January.

City Police Director Sr. Supt.Edwin de Ocampo reported 16 shooting cases in November, 33 incidents in December and 5 cases from January 1 to 19. Most of the cases are motivated by personal grudge, land disputes and or drug related.

Of the 16 cases in November—2 cases are formally filed in court; 10 are for filing while 4 cases are considered closed due to amicable settlement and of the 33 cases in December—10 were filed in court while 23 are for filing.

A setback in police investigation of the different cases is the lack of witnesses or the refusal of witnesses to testify in court.

Nevertheless, Col. De Ocampo said police authorities have instituted various measures in a bid to deter the commission of crimes though he hinted that crimes of passion and crimes related to personal grudge are very unpredictable and  Mayor Lobregat said his office will go over the matrix on shooting incidents submitted by the city police and study the status and all other circumstances surrounding the cases.

The mayor likewise lamented the fact that in some cases, while the suspects are identified, no charges can be filed as the victims would either not cooperate or opt to settle amicably for one reason or the other. “If there are no witnesses how can you proceed with the case?”

To remedy the situation, the mayor emphasized the need to strengthen forensic investigations through the use of the Police Crime Laboratory facilities as one way of pursuing cases even without witnesses.

Already, forensic probe has proved effective in the case of the perpetrators in the December 27 shooting incident at the LB Supermarket in Tumaga wherein through ballistic tests, the firearm of the neutralized suspects was found to be the same weapon used in a shooting incident in Pasonanca early November.

Through forensic examinations, he stressed, firearms or other evidences could be used to determine the link or links of the evidences to previous cases.
Present during the meeting were Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, Councilors Jaime Cabato and Abdurahman Nuno, Col. De Ocampo, Task Force Zamboanga Chief Col. Buenaventura Pascual, City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr., representatives from the business community and industrial group and other agencies concerned.

Also tackled during the meeting were reports by the Task Force Zamboanga and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) regional office. — Sheila Covarrubias