Seven gangs gather to talk peace in Sta. Barbara town

MORE than 100 youth in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo gathered on Sunday for one-day seminar for gang members.

The participants are members of seven gangs existing in the municipality.

Serena Dioso, chairperson of the Municipal Advisory Council for Police Transformation and Development (MACPTD), facilitated the gathering of these gangs.

The forum is part of the adoption of the Sta. Barbara police unit of the Batang “Pandilla” project. Pandilla is a spanish word for gang.

The project was first launched in Iloilo City in 2016 to address the alarming incidents involving gang members.

Late last year, Batang Pandilla was conferred as the Best Practice of Police Regional Office 6.

The launching of Batang Pandilla Project in Sta. Barbara coincided with assumption of Major Raymond Celoso as chief of police.

“We are hoping that through this project we will engage the gangs for more productive activities instead of getting involved in conflict and gang wars,” Celoso said.

Dioso revealed that the Advisory Council and the PNP station in Sta. Barbara have lined up many activities that would provide avenue for gangs for collaboration.