Thursday, September 08, 2005

Kapihan (first entry)

The topic on the Kampus Kapihan held yesterday, September 7, 2005, was about the safety, peace and order here in Pampanga. We are very lucky to have PS Supt. Leonardo A. Espina, Provincial Director, Pampanga PPO and PS Supt Policarpio Segubre, Chief of Police, Angeles City, as guests to give a talk on our press conference.

The presscon was headed by Mr. Federico Pascual, Director of Institute of Mass Communications. He opened the event by offering a short prayer.

The talk started by supplying us statistics regarding the population of the policemen in Pampanga. Segubre said that there is a ratio of 1:500. It means that there is only one police for 500 populations. He also added that there are 110, 000 police in Pampanga.

Espina also shared the problem being encountered by the police. He said that their problem primary lies on the budgetary constraints. He sited an example that on the 100% budget, 94%-96% are allocated for general appropriations like the policemen’s salary, allowance, retirement benefits, etc. The remaining 4%-6% are allocated for their operating expenses like their vehicle to do some rounds.

Espina sited the top five crimes committed here in Pampanga namely Physical injury, robbery, thief, homicide, murder and rape. He said that there is a decrease in number of crimes this year 2005 than last 2003-2004.

On 2003-2004, there are a total of 286 crimes. But this year there are only 280 crimes committed. Espina breakdown these crimes: Physical injury, 65; robbery, 65; thi9ef, 94; homicide, 9; murder, 30 and rape, 27.

Espina and Segubre made it clear on their talk that there are two kinds of crimes: index crimes and non-index crimes. Index crimes are crime which are universal that has regular occurrence and are used as parameters. There are also two categories under index crimes: Crime against person and crime against property. On the other hand, non-index crimes are crimes which cannot be used as parameters.

Another question was raised by Pascual. He asked the guests “when is a crime considered solved?” Segubre answered it by saying, “a crime is considered solved when it has been filed in the fiscal.” This is the technical way of saying that a crime is considered solved. Even though the suspect is not yet put to jail but eventually, the suspect would not be able to go out of the country so it may be considered solved.

“Pampanga is a very very peaceful area,” said Espina. What he meant by this was since we cannot prevent crimes from being committed, the least they could do is to solve each and every crimes.

The guests said that the major problem they face now is drug addiction. Espina said that the pusher and the user must get the same punishment because if there are no drugs, there is no crime. On the person who possesses the drugs, it depends on the weight of the drug that they may decide on his punishment. He added that most of the shabu laboratory that they have raided, most of the drug lords are pure Chinese. Out of 33 barangays in Angeles, five issues on drugs are not totally diminished yet.



The issue on cybersex was also opened by Bong Lacson, a media practitioner also invited in the presscon. Segubre explained this unending issue. He said that as of last year, they have only raided five cybersex dens and he admitted that among these five, all still do not have convictions. His explanation was because up to now, there is no specific law that will cover cybersex. There is a law on prostitution, on minors and women trafficking but still, there is none that may cover cybersex.

As what Espina have said, our constitution has too many laws in it but still, it is being left behind by the rapid development of technology.

On the question and answer part, two of my classmates, Lui and Sam, asked the guests concerning us students. They asked if there is a prescribed distance for stores who sell alcohol and to Internet cafes that has online games near the vicinity of the schools and if these Internet cafes are all monitored.

Segubre answered that there must be at least 200 meters distance from the school. Unfortunately, he has nothing much to say.

Pascual also asked the guests that in case the citizen were in trouble, what emergency number they should be calling. Segubre gave the national number Call Center 117, which is the same as 911 in United Sates. Pascual rebutted the effectiveness of 117. He shared his personal experience of once calling the number and he said that the call centers appear to be not well rounded and not credible in their jobs. Segubre seconded Pascual’s opinion on the call centers. He said that they are the problem why 117 i9s not effective. On the other hand, Espina also gave a local number that the citizens of Angeles may contact. It’s 0919-273-8688.

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