Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Akyat-bahay gang bugs JP residents

The Jose Panganiban police station … more visibility of cops needed to deter the crime. – MWBuzzpic by SAMUEL P HERNANDEZ

MAMBULAO residents have expressed concern over a recent spate of burglaries in the poblacion, apparently carried out by members of a local “akyat-bahay” gang.

Reports reaching MWBuzz and postings on Facebook accounts by overseas Mambulaoans and those who are actually residing in town indicated that the break and enter robberies had been done by both adults and minors.

Postings said the break-and-enter cases took place in baranggays within the poblacion, including those in the south.

One Facebook posting said that the alleged burglars could be members of a particular fraternity, which uses robbing household as part of its members’ initiation.

It was reported that the suspects have been targeting homes of affluent residents, especially those with relatives working overseas and permanently residing abroad.

Residences with the owners away have also become potential targets, the report said.

Residents have expressed dismay over the failure of the local police to maintain the so-called “police presence” that could serve as deterrents to potential burglary, which often happens at night.

They cited one recent case in which a money collector was robbed and shot dead in broad day light right in the poblacion by two motorcycle-riding suspects. The culprits have remained at large.

One Facebook posting suggested that baranggays around the poblacion as well as those on the outskirts such as Parang, Bagong-bayan, Osmena and Sta Rosa Norte initiate a night-patrol scheme known as “ronda” involving their respective residents.

“Even without actual police presence, potential thieves and burglars would be discouraged to rob houses if there are “ronda” teams patrolling the streets in the community,” one concerned residents in Parang told an MWBuzz correspondent.

According to one posting, baranggays should revive the “ronda” team scheme and organize one from each of their “purok” units as a way of sharing the job of looking after the community.

“Ronda” teams should start making rounds from 8pm up to 6am the next morning, said one suggestion received by MWBuzz.

Residents of the “purok” units could be asked to share in the nightly task by chipping in some cash for the teams’ snacks of coffee and bread.

“This was done during the 60s and 70s in Parang and was very effective in preventing burglaries,” the post said.

Any suspicious-looking person, especially who does not belong to a particular baranggay should be identified and checked for deadly weapons such as knives and firearms, said one suggestion.

“However, “ronda” members should never take it an occasion to abuse the potential suspect physically as it could be counter-productive,” an MWBuzz source warned.

A typical neighborhood in Baranggay Parang - home to more than 5,000 people. – MWBuzzpic by ALREDO P HERNANDEZ

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