Fil-Am arrested for vandalism in Bacolod City

A Filipino-American was detained by the BCPO for allegedly spray-painting a wall on private property in Barangay Villamonte, Bacolod City, last Friday. (BCPO photo)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY – A Filipino-American, 30, was apprehended last Friday amid the Bacolod City Police Office’s (BCPO) heightened campaign against vandalism.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Sherlock Gabana, Mobile Patrol Unit (MPU) chief, reported that the individual, from California and currently residing in Barangay Taculing, was allegedly caught defacing a private property wall opposite a university on Burgos Street, Barangay Villamonte.

Task Force Vandalism members, part of the MPU on patrol, spotted the suspect allegedly using spray paint on the wall. Upon police approach, the suspect attempted to flee but was subsequently detained. Officers recovered 13 cans of spray paint in various colors from him.

The suspect was charged on Saturday with violating City Ordinance 534, as amended by City Ordinance 08-14-679, the Anti-Vandalism Ordinance of Bacolod City, and with resisting and disobeying authority. He was held at Police Station 4 but was released later that day, Gabana disclosed.

“The suspect claimed ignorance of local vandalism laws, considering his actions as artistic expression,” Gabana noted, adding that the suspect arrived on March 1 for a vacation and it was his first such incident.

Furthermore, on April 14, Police Station 10 personnel apprehended three minors for similar offenses in Barangay Felisa.

Following Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez’s directive after vandalism incidents involving traffic signs and business walls by unknown perpetrators, the BCPO has reinforced its anti-vandalism efforts.

Recently, BCPO Director Police Colonel Noel Aliño increased the reward for information on vandalism culprits from P1,000 to P5,000.