Press Release
January 13, 2013

Cayetano to government: Focus on crime prevention,
improve capability of law enforcement agencies

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano urged the government to focus its attention on crime prevention in response to the recent spate of gun-related violence that has been occurring in the country.

He particularly referred to the shoot-out in Atimonan, Quezon, the hostage taking incident in Kawit, Cavite and the deaths of children due to indiscriminate firing during the New Year's Eve revelry.

"Remember, we're only talking about solving a couple of crimes that represent so much of what's happening in the country. And the crucial thing is finding out how we can prevent them," he said.

The senator suggested that the government actively push for the installation of more closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras as a means to eliminate the problem of understaffing in our law enforcement agencies.

"The national government is not investing here. But every CCTV camera you install is almost equivalent to having ten to twenty policemen securing that area covered by the camera because it multiplies the ability of the police to monitor the situation," he said.

The minority leader used malls with CCTVs as proof of the merit of this suggestion as he noted the difference in the incidence of crimes in these establishments when compared to marketplaces with no CCTVs.

"Why are there lower incidences of stealing and robbery in malls as compared to market places? It's not because the people are different. People of all walks of life go to the same mall. It's because they know that someone is monitoring them and that there are CCTVs," he said.

Cayetano also pointed out that the government should invest in upgrading the quality of the country's crime labs to aid in gathering evidence and therefore speeding up the process of obtaining justice for crime victims.

"We expect our policemen to solve crimes quickly. But how can they when they don't even have the most basic of equipment? How can they gather fingerprints and analyze them when they don't have the material and the technology to do so?" he said.

"This is why I don't entirely blame policemen for the slow crawl of their investigations. How can they operate effectively if their crime labs are empty?" he added.

He also encouraged law enforcement experts to come together and work with the national government to draft proposals on how to combat criminals and the rising incidence of crime in order to improve the peace and order situation of the country.

"If we don't buckle down and do this, we'll have no way of ending the suffering of the victims of these crimes as they occur over and over again. We have to stop these crimes from ever happening," he said.

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