Most of the minors who were held in custody by the police were uninformed about the curfew and existing city ordinances.

The Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO) will intensify its night patrol activities in the barangays in a bid to prevent street crimes.

Police Station 2 deputy commander Mark Anthony Maceda said they will be done as part of the Synchronized Anti-Criminality Law Enforcement Operations (SACLEO).

He said it is a recalibrated anti-criminality campaign which also includes their drive against illegal drugs in Puerto Princesa City.

“Ang nag-initiate ng plan na ito ay si city director (Senior Superintendent Marion) Balonglong. Kasi galing siya sa Las Piñas, ino-observe ito sa NCRPO (National Capital Region Police Office). Dinala niya dito [sa Puerto Princesa], in-observe din namin, at siyempre dahil [sa] may mga nagreklamo din [nga na mga baranagay chairmen],” said Maceda.

Maceda said the implementation of the first SACLEO activity was on January 18 in the five barangays, of Princesa, Masigla, Pagkakaisa, Bagong Silang, and Masipag.

He said the chairmen of these barangays went to the City Council last week to ask for assistance against youth gang fights and rambles that happen at night.

Balonglong’s attention was immediately sought by the City Council regarding the matter.

Around 40 individuals including 10 minors were briefly held in custody by the two PPCPO stations after the joint anti-crime operation on January 18 from 11:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. on January 19.

Roselyn F. Adornado, a social worker from the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) who assisted in the operation process, said most of the minors who were held in custody by the police were uninformed about the curfew and existing city ordinances.

The ages of the 10 minors range from 13 to 17, she said, explaining they were taken into police custody briefly for verification.

“Dala nang unaware sila sa ordinance and ‘yong mga estudyante ngayon dala ng mga nagbo-boyfriend-girlfriend, nagde-date. ‘Yong iba tambay with friends, and habang nagta-tambay may alak, umiinom, naninigarilyo. Patagu-tago sa mga sulok pero nakikita pa rin,” Adornado explained.

Police Station 1 spokesperson Inspector Rey Aron Elona said their operation wishes to remind the public regarding existing city ordinances that prohibit minors to roam late at night or after 10 p.m., individuals walking half-naked, drinking in public places, stores selling liquors to minors, and those who cause disturbance to peace and order at night.

He added this wide-scoped operation “is more of prevention than cure.”

“Itong operation na ito ay naglalayon na ma-lessen natin ‘yong street crimes lalung-lalo na ‘yong physical injuries, robbery, theft at ‘yong iba pang crimes. Kapag napagsabihan natin natin sila ng maaga pa, hindi na sila makaka-commit ng crime,” said Elona.