Unabated suicide cases frustrate Iloilo’s top cop

By: Jennifer P. Rendon 

THE Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) has recorded two additional suicide cases in a week despite efforts to curb rising incidents in the province.

“It’s kind of frustrating. Nakakapanghinayang. We’re at a loss for words,” Police Colonel Roland Vilela said.

Vilela, Iloilo provincial police chief, has been alarmed by rising suicide incidents in the past months.

He said the two additional cases brought the number of suicide incidents in Iloilo to 69 since January 2019.

The latest incident involved a 23-year-old man who allegedly hanged himself in Concepcion, Iloilo.

The body of Evan was discovered by his brother inside his bedroom.

Prior to that, the victim’s uncle allegedly cautioned him from getting involved in illegal activities.

The victim allegedly got mad that he boxed his uncle. A commotion ensued immediately.

Police Major Jonah Galicha, Concepcion police chief, said the victim might have harbored ill feelings and prompted him to take his own life.

On Monday, a 38-year-old man was found hanging in Igbaras town.

It was believed that he also died of suicide.

The 69 suicide deaths so far this year exceeded the 52 cases in January to December 2017 and 65 cases in 2018.

Vilela already presented this alarming rate as one of his issues and concerns during the session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Oct. 8.

“We wanted to help in any way we can to curb this incident,” he said.

The data showed that of the 69 victims, 53 are males while 16 are females.

What further alarmed the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) was the age of the victims.

Records showed that 22 of the 67 victims were 10 to 19 years old.

Since 2013, the World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is being observed every September 10 to promote awareness in a bid to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides, with various activities around the world.

In the Philippines, the passage of Republic Act 11036 (The Mental Health Law) was seen to address growing concerns on mental health and suicide incidents.

The law proposes a mental health policy that aims to enhance integrated mental health services, the promotion of mental health services, protection of people who use said services, and the establishment of a Philippine mental health council.

The Department of Health has established suicide prevention hotlines in the country.

For those who need help, they could call 0917-899-8727 (USAP) and 0917-989-8727 (USAP).