A certain “Bong” was walking down Divisoria area one Friday evening accompanied by his long time friend. They were just supposed to be enjoying the night after a long exam week at a prestigious school and stopping by at their favorite restaurant to grab some snacks. As they were walking, four suspicious strangers approached them and one was holding a small kitchen knife. “Ambi na inyong cellphone,” the young man about sixteen years old murmured while pointing at them. The two friends were in shocked and gave their phones in fear for their lives.
Bong and his friend were not the only ones who got robbed that night. There were others who were mugged, snatched, and held up; posting their experiences on social media. These things have been happening lately in Cagayan de Oro City and it’s getting out of hand. No one is safe anymore. CDO streets are not safe anymore.
While we commend our local law enforcement agencies in their fight against illegal drugs and NPA insurgencies, petty crimes such as what happened to Bong are gaining momentum in our streets. There seems to be a disconnect here since getting rid of the illegal drug menace should and would decrease petty crime incidents in the city, however, the other way around is happening.
One distinct similarity between the stories of Bong and other people on social media is that these group of bandits are juveniles. Some are just barely in their teenage years and when not prevented or properly educated these juvenile delinquents would grow up to be notorious criminals.
We call on our city government and our local police to bring an end to these incidents by increasing police visibility and presence on our streets especially at night. We call on them to fully implement curfew hours for minors since they are the most vulnerable to criminal influences and vulnerable to be victimized as well. We call on our fellow Kagay-anons to be vigilant and immediately report crimes to the authorities.
What happened to Bong and other individuals who have similar stories should not be happening in our very own streets. We need to make CDO streets safe again; safe from robberies, gadget snatching, and other petty crimes.