Congressman Jerry P. Treñas
Law enforcement is one of the most difficult responsibilities of the government and its peace officers. It requires careful and seamless coordination among so many instrumentalities of government. The focus of the public, however, has always been remedial in nature. If someone violates the law, they are apprehended, tried, convicted and sentenced to corrective imprisonment. If the existing penal provisions are inadequate, lawmakers prepare remedial or additional legislation in order to properly combat crime in the country.
However, the best way to promote and maintain peace and order is crime prevention. In a sense, this mindset is similar to what our good doctors always advise us in order to maintain excellent health – prevention is the best medicine. In our context, crime prevention is the best remedy against law offenders. We have to adopt a proactive approach instead of relying on reactive strategies to eradicate crime. It is unwise to wait for lawless elements to commit crimes, as the safety of our law-abiding citizens will already be jeopardized even before our valiant law enforcers could respond to the scene of the crime.
Crime prevention does not require clairvoyance or any other intricate strategies in order to foil crimes even before these are committed. It only needs active coordination and participation among the allied government officers and offices under the DILG umbrella. Moreover, it requires the full support of our private citizens in order to provide real time information to our police officers. With social media and mobile communications, it is extremely easy to coordinate with each other to prevent criminal elements from even entertaining the thought of committing a felony. It is important to remember that our private citizens amplify the ability of our peacekeepers to monitor their respective areas of responsibilities. Criminals will think twice before attempting any felony, knowing that the citizenry can easily report any suspect activity to the authorities with just a simple text, and criminal actions can be recorded through video and uploaded to youtube or other social networking sites almost immediately upon commission of a crime.
The theme of this year’s NCPW celebration essentially captures the intent of Presidential Proclamation 461 in 1994 which made the first week of September as the National Crime Prevention Week – “Sa Crime Prevention, May Magagawa Ako.” We can all help to abate crime if we consolidate our efforts and act as one organized community which is fully committed to peace and order.