Cotabato City’s peace and order situation continues to improve, as criminal activities have significantly decreased in the past months.
Police records show that in September, Cotabato experienced almost zero crime, with an average of only two incidents every week. This trend has continued over the first two weeks of the month of October, police officials added.
This decrease in the crime rate is attributed to the strict implementation of Ordinance 4529 or the Discipline Ordinance of Cotabato City, said its author, Councilor Japal G. Guiani III.
This order imposes curfew hours from 10 pm to 4 am, Guiani noted. During these hours, no one is allowed on the streets without any valid reason. It also covers a number of prohibited acts, such as the selling and/or serving of liquor and other intoxicating beverages to minors.
This ordinance is in support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao to ensure that every citizen of this city is complying with the law.
Guiani, a first-time councilor, is the only son of Cotabato City’s late mayor Japal J. Guiani Jr., and nephew of current Mayor lawyer Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi.
Japal is a law school graduate and is married to a doctor who is also a member of a big political clan in Sarangani Province.
Councilor Guiani said the ordinance is meant to protect the minors of the city and prevent them from getting involved in any criminal activity. Like his late father, he sees the youth of Cotabato as an important part of society, playing vital roles in shaping its future.
“My father has passed on to me principles that I will hold on to and ones that I will continue to pass to my children. Being a first time legislator, I wanted to instill the same discipline among all my fellow Cotabatenios that I have learned from my father,” Guiani said.
Though being a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod is something new to him, Councilor Guiani said politics is something he has learned to live with, with his father serving Cotabato City for half of his life.
He had accompanied his father in some of his engagements before and was already exposed to the different challenges this city was going through.
“I wanted to be part of the change in Cotabato City, that is why the first legislation that I authored was something that strikes the attitude of our fellow Cotabateños. Instilling discipline is never easy, but we did it and we will continue to implement this law even until the martial law will be lifted,” he added.
The implementation of the discipline hours is also being supported by RONDA, a group headed by Guiani, which roams the city during night time to augment the security measures being enforced by local police and military.
“Because of all these efforts, the city is now known as the safest city in Mindanao and the second safest in the whole country,” the councilor said.