By Amy R. Connolly
Tomas Osmena, mayor-elect of Cebu City, the Philippines, is offering cash rewards to police and local residents for killing or maiming criminals. Photo by Mike Gonzalez/Wikimedia
CEBU CITY, Philippines, May 20 (UPI) -- The mayor-elect of Cebu City, Philippines, announced he is offering cash rewards to police and local residents for killing or maiming criminals in an effort to curb crime.
Tomas Osmena has rewarded an off-duty police officer who shot and injured two robbery suspects. Officer Julius Sadaya Regis was awarded $107 for injuring the suspects. Had he killed the suspects, his cash awards would have gone up.
"To get the P50,000 ($1,071), the criminal should be dead," Osmeña said. "What is important is that the robbers will be scared. I am just giving them a warning."
Osmena, who was elected to office two weeks ago, took his idea from President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, who promised to kill criminals to bring peace to the country.
Osmena said criminal killings must be done legally and with a licensed gun. He said the rewards would not be taken from city coffers. When asked who would supply the funds, he said, "It's none of your business." He said he is not concerned about vigilantism.
"I will not compromise the safety of our people," he said. "I will defend them. I don't care who gets in the way."
President elect Duterte was Mayor of the city of Davao. Popular with the locals due to his successful zero tolerance policies against criminals, he earned the nickname "The Punisher". Vigilante groups tied to Duterte are thought to be responsible for the execution of drug traffickers, criminals, gang members and other lawless elements.
Over a period of 20 years, he turned Davao City from the "murder capital of The Philippines" to what tourism organisations now describe as "the most peaceful city in southeast Asia," and what numbeo.com ranks as the world's fourth safest place. Nonetheless, Duterte has drawn criticism from various sources, particularly the press and the Philippine National Police, which contest the effectiveness of his policies.
I wonder how they can contest the effectiveness of his policies with results like that? They can complain about the methods he employs, but not the effectiveness of it. We can certainly hope and pray that he is able to clean up the child prostitution, child pornography, and sex tourism that are rampant in the Philippines. If he can do that, I have no problem with the example he has set for other mayors like Osmena, and God bless him.