LINGAYEN—The Police Provincial Office is reinvestigating so-called “cold cases” in Pangasinan, starting with the unsolved crimes in Bolinao and Rosales where most of the shooting incidents were recorded over the last decade.
The new initiative is part of the PPO’s program to address the province’s inclusion as an “area of concern” in the May elections and the high number of shooting incidents recorded last year.
Senior Inspector Ryan Manongdo, information officer of the PPO, said the two towns will serve as the pilot area for the re-opening of cold cases and later extended to other municipalities and cities.
“The policemen interview the community people about the incident and their knowledge of the suspect as to his whereabouts and any development in their place that may aid us in tracking the suspects to the crimes,” said Manongdo.
He also said that they are undertaking ballistic cross matching with the firearms recently confiscated from checkpoints, search warrants and police response.
He noted a similar program in the past had borne fruits, solving three shooting incidents in three towns using ballistic cross matching.
“Through ballistic cross matching, we could get circumstantial evidence pointing to the owner of that gun is the same suspect for other shooting incidents,” Manongdo said.
Since the launching of Oplan Katok, the PPO has confiscated 33 assorted firearms while about 60 assorted firearms were confiscated from January 13 to present.
Manongdo also announced that the provincial police has assigned each policeman to look after two to three barangays and serve as the point person for incidents and crimes.
“These policemen will take charge of the barangays they were assigned to, any incident in the barangay under their jurisdiction will be their responsibility, all the information will be asked from him,” he explained.
Manongdo explained that while they do not have enough manpower to assign one policeman for each barangay, the PPO believes that grassroots networking will be effective in deterring and solving crimes.
These new measures undertaken after the command conference called by the regional chief last month who expressed alarm over a seeming worsening peace and order situation in Pangasinan.
“We accept the challenge, we admit and don’t deny the facts and that these problems truly exist, what we do now is to make sure that the crimes will be deterred and to make the Pangasinenses feel that they are safe specially during this time,” said Manongdo.–Hilda M. Austria