Convening peace and order council amid security threats

APPARENTLY alarmed by the spate of killings in the urban center in the past weeks, the 17 local chief executives in the national capital region (NCR) have come together and acted in unison by threshing out measures aimed at keeping an orderly and peaceful Metro Manila for its people.

Taking the initiative is Caloocan Mayor Recom Echiverri, who as head of the Metro Manila Peace and Order Council, hosted late last week’s meeting held at the Bulwagang Katipunan at the City Hall Complex where majority of his colleagues attended and responded on his call to unite amid threats on their people’s security. Some of the local chief executives who shared their respective security plans include Mayors Win Gatchalian (Valenzuela), Herbert Bautista (Quezon City), Del De Guzman (Marikina) and Lani Cayetano (Taguig).

A lawyer, Echiverri, who also chairs the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), just hit the right timing when he convenes the POC for the first time in the year in which the metro mayors have reassessed and reevaluated the prevailing peace and order situation in the metropolis with top officials from interior and local government department, the National Police, Office of Civil Defense, Philippine National Red Cross, Metro Manila Development Authority and Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas president, Councilor Ricojudge “RJ” Echiverri, the Caloocan mayor’s son.

During the POC summit, several stakeholders along with members of non-government organizations (NGOs), civic groups as well as barangay leaders gave their inputs that formed part of the contingency measures that the mayors will recommend for implementation by the concerned law enforcement agencies. They also have threshed out various strategies to solve peace and order problems in the metropolis as well as different ways to deter crime and catch its perpetrators.

Echiverri says: “This is one significant event that we should not miss as all of us have shared responsibility to keep our communities peaceful and orderly.”

Being the “father” of their respective LGUs, the mayors’ concerted actions are vital in ensuring the safety of civilians who usually end up victims of criminal elements. In line with this, security and police visibility in the streets should always be intensified in all places in the metropolis so that criminals would first think twice before carrying out their beastly plans.

Assessing fire incident in Navotas

Not to be outdone, a localized version of the peace and order summit takes place in the coastal city of Navotas with no less than Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Interior Department in attendance. Mayor John Rey Tiangco and other key officials briefed the DILG chief about the latest fire incident that claimed the lives of 12 residents, five of whom were children, in Barangay San Roque.

Tiangco says the presence of Robredo during the POC summit was remarkable because the local government was able to directly inform him about the prevailing peace and order situation and the measures they are being undertaken to minimize if not totally crush lawlessness in the city.

The Navotas government, according to the mayor, is supportive to DILG’s call to all LGUs to ensure peace and order in their respective areas, particularly the strengthening of their respective POCs as multiplier force in the fight against crime. –Arlie Calalo

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