AFP, PNP to meet with Cebu City this week to discuss 'joint patrols'
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Representatives from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Cebu City Council will meet this week to discuss plans on joint patrols in the city. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 17.
On August 2, the council passed a resolution requesting help from the AFP to 'increase visibility in Cebu City.'
The resolution was authored by Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak. He said that the AFP and PNP both were open to the idea. Specifics of how many troops can be deployed, when they can be deployed, as well as other details will be discussed during the meeting.
"The purpose is to increase visibility of police patrols and ensure the safety of Cebu City residents," Tumulak said.
The resolution asked that more military be present in public places like "markets, land and sea ports, terminals, wharfs, ferries, public parks, beaches, squares, malls, and barangays."
Tumulak said the patrols would be in "close coordination with the Cebu City government."
The resolution read: "Recent events in the city reported in the media indicate a high level of prohibited drugs to the commission of other crimes against persons and properties. The number of drug users and psuhers who surrendered to the authorities and the number of those killed due to drug-related crimes are too telling to be ignored."
The resolution has some residents worried of Cebu City becoming a militarized area despite no insurgencies nor acts of terrorism having occurred in the city in recent history. But Tumulak said that these issues would "be addressed" during the planning meeting.
"The purpose is just to increase visibility and assist the police," he said.
According to the regional police office in the Central Visayas, at least 54 drug suspects have been killed in legitimate anti-drug operations in the region, while over 45 have been killed by "unknown assailants"
He also clarified that the resolution is unrelated to Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña's recent conflicts with the PNP. "The resolution was passed before that incident," Tumulak said. – Rappler.com