Abra cops on heightened alert against violence

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BANGUED, Abra – The entire manpower of the Abra provincial police office is now on heightened alert in order to curb the proliferation of violence that has depicted a very bad image of the province in the national and international scenes, a senior police official said here.

Senior Superintendent Albertlito S. Garcia, officer-in-charge of the Abra provincial police office, said separate law enforcers are performing simultaneous stationary and mobile checkpoints, beat and mobile patrols that contributes to police visibility and helps deter the commission of crimes, especially in the capital town.

“Leaves of our policemen were also cancelled for this time to ensure that we will optimize the utilization of our full force to prevent crimes in the province,” Garcia stressed.

During his three weeks stint as the new Abra police chief, Garcia disclosed five of the six shooting incidents in the different parts of the province were solved because the suspects were subsequently arrested by alert policemen on the field.

He explained no gun for hire or private armed group members were involved in the six shooting incidents that transpired in the province during his short sting considering that most of the murder and homicide incidents were either simple altercations between friends or revenge triggered by old grudges.

Aside from the enhanced police presence and police visibility, Garcia said he is continuously conducting dialogues among the different local officials for them to surrender their unlicensed firearms to prevent the same from being illegally used by unscrupulous individuals to commit crimes that would disrupt the gains of already in place peace and order initiatives.

“The lasting solution to the violence in Abra lies in the people themselves. WE are just around to prevent the commission of crimes,” Garcia said.

The police official added if the people of Abra were able to work together and achieve zero election-related violence and incidents in the province during the May 2013 mid-term elections, then achieving lasting peace for Abra is possible primarily with the cooperation of the local residents to the pace and order initiatives of law enforcement officers.

Garcia pointed out law enforcers will first exercise diplomacy in the surrender of unlicensed firearms but if they are not able to do so, they will apply for the issuance of appropriate search warrants against those individuals who refuse to give up their illegal firearms and subsequently confiscate them.

“As much as possible, we want illegal gunholders to peacefully surrender their firearms to the police but if they continue to defy lawful orders, we cannot do so but to use the full force of the law in the confiscation of illegal firearms,” Garcia added.

Garcia appealed to the different sectors of the province to support all peacekeeping initiatives being currently enforced in order to achieve their desired quest for peace considering that it will be the people of the province who stand to benefit from the attainment of lasting peace coupled with economic growth since investors will be enticed to bring in investments and employment for local residents who will be guaranteed stable jobs in the future.

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