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ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines/23 April 2012 by Sheila Covarrubias—Mayor Celso Lobregat has strongly urged police and military agencies to keep the momentum high in the drive against lawless elements, as he commended authorities for the series of breakthroughs obtained in recent anti-crime operations.
The mayor issued the call during a high level meeting with top military and police officers to include Western Mindanao Command Chief MGen. Noel Coballes, Police Regional Office-9 Director PCSupt. Napoleon Estilles, City Police OIC Director PCSupt. Mario Yanga, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-9 Director Adzhar Albani and Task Force Zamboanga Chief Col. Buenaventura Pascual, Saturday morning in City Hall.
The meeting, initiated by Lobregat, discussed close coordinative efforts between government and law enforcement agencies in the fight against criminal elements specifically in the operations conducted in Recodo, a community in the east coast.
The mayor, who is the City’s Peace and Order Council chairman, said the authorities have to continue anti-crime operations and make sure that drug activities in Recodo are curtailed if not stopped.
Combined elements from the City Police Office and PDEA-9 have nabbed a number of suspected drug pushers, gun for hire group members and other law offenders in a series of operations recently. Several of those apprehended are said to be involved in a number of previous shooting incidents, based on testimonies of survivors or relatives of past victims.
PDEA-9 Director Adzhar Albani, who led the operations lamented that some of those apprehended and said to be involved in numerous crime incidents are members of law enforcement agencies and or carry with them mission orders issued by ranking officials.
Mayor Lobregat said the meeting sought to thresh out kinks and to encourage close coordination between and among the different military and police agencies so that any and all anti-crime efforts will not be for naught.
There should be a continuous drive to cleanse the different agencies of any drug users or pushers or people with connections or involvement in illegal activities, the mayor asserted.
He averred that authorities should keep the momentum high in its anti-crime operations by not letting their guard down and relentlessly pursuing criminal elements in the city.
The series of breakthroughs achieved recently is one proof that the authorities are not resting and not stopping in fulfilling their mandated duty to sustain public safety, the mayor added. (Sheila Covarrubias)
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