Dumaguete bishop, mayor agree to combat crime together

DUMAGUETE CITY, Nov. 25 (PNA) — Dumaguete Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria and Bishop Julito Cortes of the Diocese of Dumaguete have agreed on the need for a greater collaboration between the church and the local government in the fight against criminality.

They admitted that the police alone cannot possibly address the prevailing crime situation in Dumaguete, a city which has been riddled with a number of shooting incidents over the past several weeks with not a single case solved to date.

Mayor Sagarbarria and Bishop Cortes made their pronouncements during the 67th Charter Day anniversary of Dumaguete Tuesday, where a concelebrated mass was held at the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral in this capital city.

In his homily, Bishop Cortes lauded the efforts of the city government in providing support in whatever form possible to the police to help combat criminality in this capital.

The mayor has “made a lot of sacrifices” to this effect, even going out at night on roving patrols to make the streets safe, the bishop pointed out.

But Bishop Cortes at the same time also hurled a challenge that more has to be done to reduce the incidence of crime, as well as to address other issues related to peace and order.

The reality is that shooting incidents are taking place in Dumaguete, and in fact, nine killings in two weeks as reported in the news are already “alarming”, said Bishop Cortes.

Cortes went on to say that the mayor himself disclosed that 99 percent of the crimes committed in the city is related to the illegal drugs trade.

The Dumaguete prelate emphasized three points, namely, the value of life, the resolution of cases and putting an end to drug-related violence on the streets.

Meanwhile, Mayor Sagarbarria welcomes the challenge of Bishop Cortes, reiterating his assurance the city will do more in its anti-criminality campaign.

The mayor admits that the city has almost exhausted all means possible to address the peace and order problem by supporting its police through the donations of transportation and communication equipment and other supplies and equipment.

Mayor Sagarbarria stressed that the city government must be “on top of the situation” at all times.

There has to be a collaborative effort among sectors to ensure the peace and order in the city as not a single entity can fight criminality alone, the mayor added. (PNA)