Representatives from various sectors in the province of Negros Oriental and its capital city of Dumaguete are calling on law enforcers, local government officials and society for a collaboration of concrete and stringent measures to protect the community from lawlessness.
Engr. Trelly Marigza, head of the non-government organization AAGOGO (Affirmative Action for Good Governance), disclosed Thursday the need for a forum at which issues involving security, safety and peace in the province must be addressed.
“We all wish to live with security and peace wherever we are. But with the recent spate of killings in our city alone, we wonder if we are still safe in our communities,” said Marigza, in reaction to the recent crimes perpetrated in Dumaguete and other parts of Negros Oriental.
To find solutions for a comprehensive approach to crime prevention and solution, AAGOGO, in cooperation with other members of civil society, will be spearheading a forum next week.
The forum comes as recent celebrated crimes sparked public outrage in the community. These include the brutal murder of eight-year-old Catherine Sinoag, a Grade III pupil, whose body was found in a sugarcane field close to her family’s home in the outskirts village of Bajumpandan in Dumaguete.
Until today, Dumaguete police have not identified the suspect in the killing of Sinoag, who was found with a slashed throat and was raped before she was killed.
Other recent crime incidents that caught public attention include the daytime heist in Dumaguete City of a foreign national who was robbed of P2.2 million after shortly leaving the bank, a perceived rise in shooting incidents, petty theft and hold-up cases, and most recently, the twin murders of an elderly couple in nearby Sibulan town.
“The people have been so far complacent about these incidents. Is it because the victims are not prominent people? Is it because of fear? Or is it because they are not the victims?” Marigza noted.
“Evil flourishes when good men do nothing. It is high time that we speak out and do something to prevent crimes in our city”, she added.
The forum scheduled on July 24 at 8 a.m. at the Marian Priests’ Center at the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral compound, dubbed “Human Security and Peace: Are we secured enough?” aims to “understand the elements of human security, learn about security measures from relevant agencies, and know our role in establishing safe communities,” according to Marigza
Marigza issued a challenge “to take this opportunity to learn from our resource persons and share our thoughts. Let us not remain passive observers but proactive citizens.”
The forum is basically to discuss the role of civil society in helping law enforcers take a proactive stance in keeping the community safe.
Invited to the forum are officials and representatives of the Philippine National Police, local civil officials led by Governor Roel Degamo and Dumaguete Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria, NegOrNet (an umbrella of non-government organizations and people’s organizations), Department of Education officials, the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry representing the business sector, and other civil society groups.
The Kapihan sa PIA forum is also being supported by Church-based groups of the Diocese of Dumaguete and DAKILA. (PNA)