Cops stay focused in fight vs criminality despite COVID-19 pandemic
CEBU, May 5 (PIA) — Despite fighting an invisible enemy amid the health pandemic, the police force here remains steadfast in its core function of maintaining peace and order in the community.
Police Major Gerard Ace Pelare, chief of the Talisay City Police Office in Cebu province, said although crime incidence in Central Visayas went down largely due to the lockdown implementation of local government units under a general or enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), they will not let their guard down in the fight against criminality.
“Crime incidence in the region dropped to 68.7 percent from March 17 until April 27, 2020. This has never happened before and this is largely attributed to the ECQ,” said Pelare, adding that criminals cannot loiter outside and commit illegal activities while police forces are in the border controls.
Pelare said theft and robbery that includes snatching, considered the most prevalent crime, declined by 76 percent since the quarantine was enforced.
As the country grapples to fight the COVID-19 crisis, cops play multiple roles as frontliners in these trying times of health emergency from manning security checkpoints and border controls, providing security during COVID-19 testing, and during cash subsidy payouts, as well as assisting in contact tracing, among others.
“But we have not stopped our law enforcement functions,” said Pelare, as he reported that P28 million worth of illegal drugs was seized by the police on April 25, 2020.
Pelare said they are guided by the strict instruction that despite being busy with the pandemic, cops should not lose sight of their peace and order functions.
“We want to assure the public that your Amigo Cops will always be here for you in the fight against the pandemic and we have not forgotten our functions to maintain peace and order in the community,” said Pelare.
The public is, however, reminded that security is a shared responsibility, and that to ensure a favorable peace and order climate needs the support and cooperation of every citizen.
Meanwhile, Pelare urged the public not to spread fake news or inaccurate information related to COVID-19 that tends to sow fear and chaos.
“In this crisis, let us help and cooperate with quarantine protocols instead of being an additional burden by spreading lies in connection with the Covid pandemic which is not helpful at all,” said Pelare.
As social media becomes the favorite platform under the stay-at-home order called for by the government during these abnormal times, Pelare warned those who spread fake news they will be charged in court under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. (fcr/PIA7)