Questions revolve around the delivery of police services like the qualities they like of a police officer, how a partnership can be forged with the community, the empowerment of communities to do their own police work and the accountability of police forces.
Residents say they want a police force which is “present in the community 24/7, always alert, quick to respond to crime incidents, religious, unbiased, and approachable,” among others.
Some particpants say existing barangay police forces, mediators and religious leaders effectively act as their police force and which they want to remain intact.
Communities which residents are largely Moro, say they also bring incidents before the Moro Islamic Front local political committe, local Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces commanders and Police Force directors for mediation and resolution or the crafting of agreements.
The research-workshop also took into account established and traditional police forces and policing concepts of the community outside of the national police force of the government.
The research dubbed “Community Policing” is a four-staged process which involve gathering of base data, awareness sessions, consultation and feedback.
In the province of Maguindanao, the communities involved are barangays Libutan in the town of Mamasapano, Banaba in Datu Abdullah Sangki, Salman in Ampatuan, Salman in Ampatuan and Sambulawan in Datu Salibu.
In the province Cotabato, barangays involved are Mudsing in Midsayap, Batulawan in Pikit, Simbuhay in Kabacan and Tapodoc in Aleosan.
The research is conducted by Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. For Cotabato Province while the Good Wednesday Group for Peace for Maguindanao. It is funded by the British Council and implemented by the the Security Reform Initiatives (SRI) through the British Council which will form part inputs for the techinal working group to formulate a strategy toolkit on Community Policing for the Bangsamoro.
Source: Saligumba, John Rizle, BB North Cotabato (Note:This was submitted to Komunet and was read on the Radio DXMS)