The fight against all forms of criminalities is now in full swing as Cotabato City Acting Mayor VM Atty. Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi follows the lead of President Rodrigo Duterte in his battle against illegal drugs and other forms of felony.
From the beginning of her first term as the city's vice mayor, Atty. Guiani-Sayadi has been very active not only in presiding every session of the city council but also in joining the city police as they roam around the city streets and conduct checkpoints every night.
At first, authorities were only concerned about the strict implementation of the nightly curfew for minors but during their operations, they were able to apprehend and confiscate open pipe motorcycles that were involved in the much complained about drag races along the national highway. Hundreds of modified mufflers were also seized and destroyed by the city police.
As the nightly "ronda" continued, even the interior parts of the city were penetrated by the local authorities. Several individuals were caught in possession and at times, in the act of using illegal drugs. The city vice mayor often witnessed the apprehension of identified thieves and carnappers in the city during these nightly operations.
With the joint forces of the city local government unit and the city police, the goals of a drug-free and crime-free Cotabato City is within reach as validated by the City PNP's recent report on crime incidence during the recently conducted City Peace and Order Council Meeting.
Within the last eight months, different crimes committed in the city have decreased as compared to the same time last year, as reported by the city police office.
City Vice Mayor Guiani-Sayadi says her active participation in the nightly operations of the city authorities is her way of showing full support to the President's fight against all forms of crimes. She said discipline must be imposed to all Cotabateños and that justice must always prevail.
"For the longest time, our people have been scared because of the proliferation of drugs that resulted to several crimes like robbery, theft, and even murder. We want our fellow Cotabateños to finally feel safe. They need to see that their leaders are truly working hard for them to enjoy their daily lives" Atty. Guiani-Sayadi said.
She further stressed her strong support in upholding the human rights of each citizen. As a lawyer and as a city government official, she believes that every Cotabateño must really be given the chance to enjoy his/her human rights. But it should be emphasized that enjoying one's rights must not be at the expense of another's.
When it comes to defending the rights of accused individuals, the vice mayor said that it is imperative for everyone to consider first and foremost the rights of the real victims—those people whose rights were violated by identified criminals.
"Yes, even the accused has his or her rights in the eyes of the law. But we should not just uphold the rights of these criminals but more importantly those of the victims of crimes resulting from the abuse of illegal drugs and the families of those who died in the hands of hired assassins", the city vice mayor said.
She further called on to the people of Cotabato City to always be vigilant and to report to authorities immediately if they can sense suspicious people, groups, and activities in their areas for them to prevent any untoward incident in the communities.
Vice Mayor Guiani-Sayadi also appeals to all Cotabateños to unite and stand up against all criminalities and together put an end to all the illegal activities done in the city.