BAGUIO CITY – The leadership of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) disclosed the celebration of Christmas in the country’s undisputed Summer Capital was generally peaceful amidst the influx of thousands of visitors wanting to spend their holidays in the city.
BCPO City Director Police Col. Allen Rae F. Co said there were no reported high-profile crimes in the different police stations based in strategic areas around the city during Christmas eve and Christmas Day that allowed the local police force to conclude that the celebration of Christmas in the city was generally peaceful.
He claimed the country’s police force remains on heightened alert until such time that there are orders from higher headquarters to help in ensure the Yuletide season in the different parts of the country are celebrated peacefully and for lasting peace to be realised amidst efforts by some groups to disrupt the merrymaking of Filipinos.
The police official asserted the deployment of the city police force, especially in strategic places in the city, will remain until the heightened alert status of the PNP will be downgraded to help maintain the smooth flow of traffic and the peace in the city in time for the celebration of the coming of the new year and other related activities organized by the city government and other interested groups wanting to join such celebration.
However, Co admitted one of the noticeable problems documented by the local police force in the city during the Christmas eve and Christmas Day is traffic in identified choke points in some parts of the city primarily because of the influx of tourists who brought with them their vehicles to the city.
According to him, traffic endorsers made sure traffic in most parts of the city was moving to lessen the inconvenience of both residents and tourists alike.
The BCPO chief appealed to both residents and tourists to cooperate with the stringent anti-criminality, peacekeeping and traffic management measures currently being implemented along major roadlines around the city to help reduce the impact of the traffic congestions and deter the occurrence of crimes that pose a serious threat to life and limb.
He declined to issue a comment on the current trend of crimes in the city during the prevailing period compared to that of last year, saying that he will have to await the outcome of the celebration of the new year in the city before issuing the necessary statements considering he needs the complete data for the year for the annual report of the local police force in order to compare trends.
He explained that what is evident is there has been a continuous down trend in the crime volume in the city over the past three quarters, thus, he expressed confidence there will be a continuous reduction of crimes being committed in the city for the whole year./Dexter A. See