Bohol PNP chief calls out LGUs for lax town hall security

Natividad Lila

Sr. Supt. Felipe Natividad accompanied by Inspector Lito Bongator Rosales, Lila police chief, conducted a security inspection at the Municipal Treasurer’s Office and oversaw the installation of CCTV cameras at the Lila Municipal Hall and police station on Thursday last week. (Lila BPPO)

Bohol police provincial director Sr. Supt. Felipe Natividad on Monday called out local government units (LGU) for deficiencies in implementing security measures at government offices amid the spate of town hall burglaries in the province.

Natividad during the meeting of the Provincial Board’s (PB) committee on peace and order and public safety at the Capitol said that several town halls particularly their treasurer’s offices still do not have closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.

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The police director echoed a memorandum issued by Gov. Edgar Chatto to tighten security in town halls after the treasurer’s offices of Panglao, Balilihan, Anda and Loboc were broken into in January and February.

Natividad expressed dismay as calls for stringent security were apparently downplayed by LGUs as two more town halls were burglarized last week in San Miguel and Sevilla.

Guidelines issued by authorities urged LGUs to install CCTV cameras, immediately deposit cash and in instances wherein it is not deposited, to inform police that money had been left at the office’s vault.

Natividad who previously cited the possibility of the crimes being perpetrated by a syndicate said that police are already looking into activities of a particular group which may have carried out the series of burglaries.

However, authorities are still scouring the towns for evidence and witnesses to corroborate the suspicion.

In a span of three months, over P900,000 had been declared stolen by the LGUs after six burglaries of municipal halls.

After the fourth burglary in February, Natividad pointed out similarities in the timing of the series of break-ins noting that the robberies of the town halls took place on or near the last Monday and Sunday of the month.

During the period, particularly first quarter of the year, local government units are also able to collect large amounts from payments of permits and licenses, added Natividad.

The break-ins in San Miguel and Sevilla, the latest in the rash of town hall burglaries in the province, took place on Sunday, March 26 and Monday, March 27, respectively.(R. Tutas)



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