Chief Supt. Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 director Prudencio Tom Bañas, ordered his men to take at least 10 hours a week to patrol the streets of Cebu City on foot “in compliance with the directive of the PNP (Philippine National Police) chief,” he said. Central Visayas PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez instructed the police force in Cebu, “Let us go back to the basics.”
The aim is to discourage anyone with ill-intentions from committing crimes. This action was implemented due to the killing of a Lorega businessman, named Jaime Villaceran, who was shot dead at the intersection of Osmeña Blvd. and Colon Street last July 14 at 7:00 AM by 2 men on a motorcycle.
The police officer who was supposed to be stationed at the corner was attending a seminar and the trainee who was assigned left his post to join two other officers on the other side of the block. No CCTV camera recordings of the crime were found.
During the first day the foot patrol was implemented, Chief Supt. Bañas stopped to talk to some sidewalk vendors and shop owners, regarding recent crime and safety in the area. He reported that the area was peaceful at the time of the patrol and that business owners said there were no recent hold-ups but still stresses importance of having policemen around areas with high occurrences of crime.
The vendors gave positive feedback on the new steps taken by the local authorities in creating a more peaceful Cebu. Chief Supt. Bañas recognizes that it was a task that needed to be done consistently and says that, in fact, all officers were to patrol the streets on foot, especially when they had nothing to do while ensuring that there were at least 2 policemen at every corner. But even police officers engaged in office work are now required to make time to patrol.
Photo credits: Manila Bulletin