Whatever happened to Malaybalay’s CCTV cameras?

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MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/16 January) The killing of a university student here recently raised questions on whatever happened to the plan to put up close circuit television (CCTV)cameras in the city’s main streets, which was approved through ordinance in March 2014.

City Councilor Lorenzo L. Dinlayan, Jr. in a privilege speech on January 13 appealed for the implementation of “City Ordinance no. 810 series of 2014, an ordinance installing CCTV cameras or other monitoring devices along Fortich Street and other strategic streets in the city.”

Dinlayan noted that the city and the province of Bukidnon in general are not exempted from the spread of criminal acts.

Abel Perez, Jr a second year public administration student of Bukidnon State University figured in a stabbing incident on January 6. He eventually died at the Bukidnon Provincial Medical Center (BPMC). His companion, a female friend who was walking with him that night said the attack by two unidentified men came in a dark spot along Magsaysay Street. They appeared to be drunk. One of them stabbed the victim hitting Perez at the lower part of his belly. The suspects then fled towards the direction of an entertainment establishment.

The incident drew reactions from the public including sympathy and a quest for justice especially in social network site Facebook.

“Why him? I hate this. The family, cousins and friends of the victims are one in the call for justice for the victim,” said a friend of the victim “MJ” in a post.

Aside from murder, Dinlayan cited theft and robbery, have become a nightmare for the city. He cited the recent bus bombing that happened in front of Central Mindanao University in Maramag town that killed 10 people and hurting 44 other passengers.

Dinlayan wanted to follow up on the installation of the CCTV cameras adding it has been proven to be of great help in crime prevention, identification of offenders, aid to police investigations, place management including traffic flow, and information gathering.

Vice Mayor Roland F. Deticio, the presiding officer, assured that allocation for the implementation of the said ordinance is already in the 2015 proposed budget.

The city council is set to deliberate on the 2015 annual budget in their regular session next week.

In the approved ordinance, CCTV system shall be installed along public parks, streets in the city centers, outdoor public parking areas, residential streets, public transport interchanges and other strategic places as may be identified by the concerned government agencies.

The ordinance has granted the local chief executive to identify and designate individual or office responsible for the periodic monitoring and evaluation of the devices and areas being observed.

Dinlayan said the provincial government of Bukidnon has implemented ordinance no. 2011-029 pertaining to the installation of CCTVs among banks, pawnshops, lending firms, gasoline stations, malls, supermarkets, convenience store, bus terminals, internet cafes, schools, cathedrals, hotels, inns and lodging houses but it is found to be only limited to private entities aside from the bus terminals.

“Thus, the implementation of City Ordinance No. 810 is necessary,” he added.

Installation of CCTV cameras in public bus terminals and even inside buses were also among the recommendations from local government and law enforcement agencies to preempt bombing incidents and other criminal acts. (Mel B. Madera/BukidnonNews.Net correspondent with a report from Elisa Gonzaga/BSU Development Communication intern)