By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Sunday boasted the improvement in the country’s peace and order in the past two years under President Duterte’s administration ahead of the latter’s third State of the Nation Address (SONA).
PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde said they aim to sustain these gains through the continuous implementation of intensified campaign against illegal drugs and other forms of criminality.
Under Duterte’s administration, or from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018, Albayalde said they have recorded a 20.4-percent decrease in the total crime volume compared to what was noted two years ago or from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016.
The PNP said a total of 1,040,987 crimes were reported from July 2016 to June 2018, which is lower than the 1,325,789 cases reported during the same period from 2014 to 2016.
The trend of index crimes also plunged by 46.95 percent to only 212,773 incidents, from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018 from a high of 401,112 incidents recorded in the previous 2-year period, Albayalde said.
The PNP described index crimes as crimes against persons such as murder, homicide, physical injury and rape, and crimes against property such as robbery, theft, carnapping and carjacking.
“[These] are the focus of the ‘Enhanced Managing Police Operations’ (EMPO) strategy of the PNP because these are the more serious crimes that affect people’s lives,” Albayalde noted.
Furthermore, crimes against persons were posted at an all-time low of 99,773 incidents in the same period, or 30.42 percent lower than the 143,385 incidents recorded from 2014 to 2016.
Similar decline at 56.16 percent in crimes against property were also recorded with double-digit rates of reduction in robbery (52.12 percent), theft (58.50 percent) and carnapping (50.10 percent) incidents, and a steady downtrend over the past five years.
However, murder cases in Metro Manila increased by 112 percent: a total of 3,444 cases from July 2016 to June 2018, higher than the 1,621 cases recorded from July 2014 to June 2016.
The situation in Ilocos region, Central Luzon, and Cordillera region was also the same as murder cases increased by 35.48 percent, 3.20 percent, and 1.4 percent, respectively.
‘Successful drug war’
Despite local and international criticisms, Albayalde attributed the “success” of the anti-crime drive to the gains posted in the anti-drug campaign.
He assured the public that the country’s peace and order situation will remain manageable due to its two-pronged approach: effective delivery of public safety services through EMPO and the PNP’s internal cleansing program; and improved community relations through constant dialogues, consultations and strategic partnerships with multi-sectoral groups.
“I also recognize that the PNP alone cannot ensure sustained peace and order without the support of our community. Despite our success, we should do more to make sure that a stable peace and order should be directly felt and experienced by all Filipinos,” he said.
“Going forward, we need to reach out some more to community stakeholders such as members of the church, the private sector, NGOs and the academe on the best way to win the war on drugs and criminality. The war on drugs and criminality can only be won through constant consultations and collaboration with all stakeholders in the community,” he concluded.