LA TRINIDAD, Benguet (Jan. 25) — Benguet officials and police claimed that the province is generally peaceful while admitting the presence of gambling and prostitution in Abatan, Buguias.
Philippine National Police (PNP)-Benguet reported a decrease of 20 criminal cases this year.
Provincial Director Moro Virgilio Lazo said illegal gambling is not rampant, although, authorities are still working on eradicating it. He also reported that last week, police operatives rescued three 17 year old prostitutes, who were recruited in Mindoro and were brought to Abatan. He said the three were already sent back to their families in Mindoro.
Domingo Bay-an, executive assistant of the governor said Abatan, is the “melting pot” of Benguet. He said that there are some legal night clubs that have guest relation officers (GROs) in the area. He admitted that prostitution is growing in Abatan.
Bay-an added that despite the implementation of a liquor ban until 10:00 PM, some residents do not comply. “It is true that peace and order is a problem there. We take this as a challenge to the local officials to take a look into this matter,” he stressed.
Benguet Vice-governor Crescencio Pacalso maintains that the people of Benguet owe their peace-loving image to their ancestors who instilled in them to shy away from violence and maintain the province’s peaceful atmosphere. “This is already a tradition to us,” he stressed.
Former board member Bial Palaez, a member of a private sector, Benguet people have an intangible understanding among themselves which they call “inayan”. “It means that they agree with the same idea and even if someone is at fault, they don’t go against each other. The people of Benguet live with that principle,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dir. Myrna Muyanao of Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Benguet called on the PNP and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to apprehend people who violate the law during the election period. She also said that the DILG would be an information source of the people of Benguet.
Lazo said police authorities would coordinate with all municipal mayors and councilors in Benguet for the monitoring of peace and order during the election period. He also said that the PNP would randomly operate Comelec check-points. # Pam Aniceto for NORDIS