Cebu City

Cebu City police: 30 shooting incidents in first 5 months of 2023

John Sitchon

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Cebu City police: 30 shooting incidents in first 5 months of 2023

OPLAN RAP. Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama orders the police to double efforts in catching perpetrators of crimes in the city.

John Sitchon/Rappler

The Cebu City Police Office says there were only 16 reported shootings in 2021, and 24 in 2022

CEBU, Philippines – The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) said on Tuesday, May 23, that it still was not the first half of 2023 and yet there have been at least 30 reported shooting incidents here, a sharp rise from the previous years.

Based on data presented by the CCPO in a press conference Tuesday, the shootings are expected to surpass those recorded in the past two years.

CCPO records showed there were 16 shooting incidents for the whole year of 2021, and around 24 for 2022. The numbers, especially in 2021, may be considered skewed because of the hard lockdowns due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic during that period.

To address the rising number of shootings, Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama has ordered the CCPO to double its efforts in searching for the criminals involved in these incidents.

“The principle directive I have now, no ifs and no buts, is the ORAP or OPLAN Run After Perpetrators…I am directing now our police to run after the perpetrators,” Rama said during the press conference.

Police Colonel Ireneo Dalogdog, director of CCPO, told Rappler that they have coordinated with the city’s station commanders to monitor suspicious activities and catch identified perpetrators as soon as possible.

Dalogdog stressed the importance of installing CCTV cameras in multiple areas of the city so as to help identify the suspects whenever an incident happens.

Currently, the CCPO has 11 police stations under its command. Cebu City has 80 barangays.

One victim in every shooting

Dalogdog said that there is at least one victim in each of the 30 shooting incidents recorded between January and May.

“Most of the victims, besides those cases involving personal grudges, heated arguments, we see that many of them are victims of illegal drug activities,” Dalogdog said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

Based on his observation, some of the victims were former inmates who revealed information behind the identities of the heads of illegal drug operations.

Pagbalik nila gikan sa jail facility, gibalikan sila sa mga gitudlo nila nga maong hinungdan sa pagkakulong nila. (When they were released, the people who were the reason they got into prison got back at them.),” Dalogdog said.

In 2021, Reynaldo Arsenal, a drug defendant, was shot dead in an ambush in Medellin town, Cebu, the day he was supposedly released on bail.

More illegal activities after lockdowns

During the press conference, Dalogdog said that there were fewer illegal activities being conducted during the pandemic due to the health protocols that restricted movement within the city.

Now, with less restrictions, Dalogdog said that more criminals were on the move and even trading in the black market. The police chief specifically noted how easy it was for criminals, especially hired gunmen, to acquire unlicensed firearms.

Mao na gyud ni ilahang mga trabaho (This is really their livelihood) so they are not having any problem. Dali ra nila ma acquire (It’s easy for them to acquire),” Dalogdog said. –

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