Police identify over 30 gangs operating in the city
The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) announced they would be intensifying their campaign against local gangs, predominately comprised of students and out-of-school youth, in an effort to prevent a potential gang war in the city.
“We are monitoring [the] movements of gang members,” said ICPO spokesperson, Police Senior Inspector Shella Mae Sangrines. “We anticipate that some students have to form their own group as classes started last week.”
She said a conference of the city’s six police chiefs took place yesterday.
“Police chiefs are tasked [with] doubling their efforts in monitoring groups [of young people] in their area of responsibility,” the spokesperson added.
Earlier this week, a saturation drive conducted by Iloilo City Police Station 1 personnel found a group of around 20 young people gathered near the Iloilo Terminal Market, or Super, around 11:00 p.m.
According to ICPS1 commander, Police Superintendent Jonathan Pablito, once the group spotted police in the vicinity, they scattered.
He said, seven females, between the ages of 13 and 17 years old, were rescued in the operation.
“Maybe they [were] forming their own group,” the police chief speculated. “[The] seven students have already been turned over to their [families].”
ICPO is currently monitoring existing gangs, which, based on recent data, there are 31 operating in the city.
Meanwhile, Sangrines also called on parents to be proactive on the matter.
“Parents have their parental obligation to their children,” she stressed. “It is important that parents have the class schedule of their children to monitor their whereabouts after their classes.”/WDJ