Police Superintendent Patrico Degay Jr., city police said, has disclosed that his men are have been validating reports on school gangs allegedly operating on school campuses and forcing students to commit crimes.
Degay said his men’s plates are full of late, but they are working tediously to verify the reports handed to them.
He told the Bohol Tribune via a chance interview on Friday once there would be a breakthrough, he will be informing the media on any development.
The issue on school gangs has surfaced after alleged members of school gangs push students to commit crimes.
During the last City Peace and Order Council Meeting, a barangay chairman raised the issue of school gangs apparently forcing two minors to get involved in malicious mischief.
The caper led to the expose of school gangs operating in a big city public school.
Cabawan Barangay Chairman Luis Coto, during a meeting at the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC), narrated that he was called by the City Social Welfare Office to help identify two minors who were caught in a simple theft in a 24 hours shop. After an investigation, it was revealed minors admitted that they were forced to the act of mischief because a gang operating inside the school forced them.
One of the minors in the case turned out to be from San Isidro and not Cabawan as he earlier told the police.
When asked further, the minors admitted they could quickly identify the gang leaders in the school, specifically the one who told them to steal.
The other minor was reportedly a transferee and is not from Tagbilaran but is now attending his classes at the city public school.
City Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso directed Degay to look into the reports of school gangs.
“We will look into it,” Degay assured even as he reported elevated cases of theft and robberies in the same district and the immediate vicinities of the place where the big city public school occupies.
“Parents expect their kids to be in school, protected and safe, and then it turns out they are getting to do illegal acts just to be safe from the gang,” he shared his alarm.
On this, Tagbilaran City Department of Education representatives admitted that gangs used to proliferate in the schools, but have since been disbanded.
“[The gangsterism] has stopped, but in the present reports, it would be looked into again, the DepED representative said.
He also assured that he would bring the matter to the school principal as well as the city schools superintendent.
“We will look into the reports,” promised a DepEd representative at the CPOC, which also informed the council that they would immediately investigate the leader who was positively identified by the minors involved in the police alarm for theft.
FLASHBACK ON SCHOOL GANG PROBLEM
Back in July 2017, a street gang leader was arrested by Dauin police after being allegedly caught in the act of selling the alleged illegal substance.
The gang leader was a high school student identified as Eric Pahamtang, 28, and was nabbed after a drug buy-bust operation where he allegedly sold P500 to a poseur-buyer.
The police initiated the sting operation after receiving reports of the alleged gang activities from the school officials.
There have been students, according to published reports, who reportedly recruited into Pahamtang’s gang.
The suspect previously surrendered to the police the height of the first wave of the Tokhang activities. (Dave Albarado with reports from PIA-Bohol)