Os­meña on ‘tip boxes’: Be care­ful

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - By Inna Gian Me­jia and Nes­tle L. Semilla

CEBU City Mayor To­mas Os­meña warns the pub­lic to be cau­tious should the plan of the Depart­ment of In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment (DILG) to put up “tip boxes” in vil­lages to help the war on il­le­gal drugs be im­ple­mented.

“Let them try it. All I am do­ing is try­ing to tell peo­ple: Be care­ful. There are some barangay of­fi­cials that are in­volved in drugs,” he said.

Os­meña ex­pressed fears that the pro­gram could put the lives of the pub­lic at risk as there are barangay of­fi­cials in­volved in the il­le­gal drug trade.

In some barangays, there are closed-cir­cuit tele­vi­sion cam­eras which could be used to mon­i­tor those who will drop names in the boxes, Os­meña ex­plained.

“They might iden­tify who is putting these re­ports in the box. I am just giv­ing warn­ing, cau­tion to peo­ple,” he said.

While the mayor be­lieves the pro­gram will not be an ef­fec­tive way to crack down on il­le­gal drugs, he said that he will not pre­vent DILG from im­ple­ment­ing it.

Po­lice Regional Of­fice direc­tor Chief Supt. Jose Mario Espino wel­comes the ini­tia­tive which is ex­pected to be im­ple­mented next month in each of Cebu City ’s 80 barangays as part of DILG’s im­ple­men­ta­tion of its Masa Ma sid( Ma­ma­mayang Ayaw sa Ano­ma­lya, Ma­ma­mayang Ayaw sa Ili­gal na Droga) pro­gram.

The drop boxes to be set up in barangay halls are among the pre­scribed meth­ods of re­port­ing crime aside from hot­lines, emails and text mes­sag­ing.

Espino said that the move is not new to PRO-7 since this has been done in Tag­bi­la­ran City, Bo­hol, through what is called a “sug­ges­tion box” at the po­lice sta­tion.

“Our box in Tag­bi­la­ran Po­lice Sta­tion is not only con­fined to il­le­gal drug in­for­ma­tion. It also so­lic­its sug­ges­tions on how to im­prove the po­lice sta­tions … and also those po­lice­men who are be­ing com­plained of,” Espino said.

Es pin os aid that the Com­mis­sion on Hu­man Rights( C HR) need not worry about the tip boxes since the in­for­ma­tion re­ceived through the boxes will be treated with con­fi­den­tial­ity.

He likened DILG’s tip boxes to the Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion’s anti-cor­rup­tion drive.

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