By: Freddie G. Lazaro, PIA 1, Ilocos Sur
LAOAG CITY, June 25 (PIA) – Cognizant of the citizens’ role in crime prevention, the Philippine National Police has created an innovative approach to crime prevention through a citizens’ crime watch.
The Motorcycle Anti- Street Crime Operatives BPATS (Barangay Peace Action Teams) Anti-Street Crime for Direct Operations (MASCOBADO) involves civilian motor riders who will assist the local police keeping peace and order in the community.
Senior Superintendent Antonio P. Mendoza Jr., the newly-installed Ilocos Norte police director, said Mascobado’s creation seeks to professionalize the force multipliers in the community against street crimes.
“We realized this program (because) we believe in people’s participation in eliminating crimes in the community,” he said.
He said partnership between the police and the civilians will result in the reduction and elimination of street crimes in the province.
Based on PNP records, Ilocos Norte has some 1,248 crime incidents from January to May 20 this year or lower than the number of crimes during the same period last year at 2,000 crime incidents.
The PNP also noted that most crimes occurred in densely populated areas such as the cities of Laoag and Batac including the emerging tourist destination of Paoay town.
The citizens’ anti-crime group will be launched in Laoag City with some 85 initial BPATS members who will help patrol the city’s streets during the “crime clock” period from 12 midnight to 4 a.m.
Aside from street patrolling, the BPATS riders will also assist the police in conducting medical missions, outreach programs in the community and environment protection activities like cleaning canals and “bantay – dagat” operation.
“All our civil relations activities are (incorporated) in the MASCOBADO program to (strengthen) the respect by the civilians to our policemen,” Mendoza said.
Aldrin Garganta, the president of the BPATS Riders of Ilocos Norte, encouraged his members to support the PNP in maintaing peace and order in the community.
He said at least 140 BPATS riders will be involved in the Mascobado program.
“Civilians should start keeping the peace in our communities,” Garganta said.
Meanwhile, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos expressed her appreciation to police for coming up with a creative solution to an old and intransigent problem in the province.
Marcos was earlier briefed of the motor rider’s anti-street crime strategy during the program’s launch at the parade grounds of the police provincial office.
Marcos said that although the effort is exploratory, Mascobado could be the solution to street crimes which will result to the growth in the tourism industry.
“Law enforcement remains to the police while our BPATS will assist the police by being an informant to any crime in the community,” she said. #