Lito Dar / PIA
Posted: 29-Aug-2010 / 10 years 21 weeks ago

BAGUIO CITY – The Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) assures the safety of the tourists and the foreigner residents in the city amid the  August 23 hostage  incident in Manila that claimed the lives of eight Hongkong tourists, and  its readiness to respond to  any emergency situation.

In a Kapihan forum launching the region’s observance of the National Crime Prevention Week in  September, Police Relation Officer SPO4 Viyo Hidalgo stressed that the BCPO maintains a year-round crime prevention mindset, and the  emergency response team such as the Special Weapon and Tactical (SWAT) teams are capable to respond  to  any given emergency situation.

BCPO Deputy Director for Administration, P/Supt Constancio Chinayog, also confirmed that that the city’s SWAT team is well trained and that all of their personnel have undergone crisis management seminars. ‘It all goes down on the logistical requirements, application na lang, depende sa given crisis situation,’ Chinayog said.

The BCPO also affirmed that they have already increased police visibility in key areas in the city. They are also currently coordinating with the different barangay officials for the re-activations of their ‘barangay tanod.’

The city police is also currently implementing a ‘Cops on the School’ program which assures the safety of students going to and going home from their schools. They have created student crime prevention committees in close coordination with the different school administrators in the city, in addition to the regular ‘TOP COPS’ or tourist police which are closely manning the different tourist spots in the city.

In the same forum, BCPO Deputy City director for Operations P/Supt. Andrew Cayad also stressed that the city’s crime volume is also on the downward trend. From 571 last January, it went down to 351 by June.

In line with the Manila hostage incident, the BCPO also held an actual training exercise, Thursday morning, depicting an emergency response with the same scenario.
Meanwhile,  President Benigno Aquino III declared last Wednesday, August 25 as a National Day of Mourning, in solidarity with the people of Hongkong and the bereaved families of the eight Hongkong tourists that were killed during  hostage incident at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.
The President, through Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, also has already expressed his condolences to the People’s Republic of China and to the people of Hongkong. He  also instructed Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, to head a thorough investigation of the incident.**Lito Dar/PIA