Crime rate down in May-- PNP

THE country’s total crime volume went down to 38,000 last May compared to the 42,500 registered during the same month in 2018 with police attributing the significant crime reduction to the massive war on drugs ordered launched by President Rodrigo Duterte since July 2016.

Philippine National Police spokesman, Colonel Bernard M. Banac said  the total crime volume was reported by the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management which is tasked to validate all crime incidents being reported to the PNP national headquarters.

Banac also said that crime volume nationwide also decreased to 115,539 during the 1stquarter of the year—or 3,963 incidents less—compared to the 119,502 crimes recorded during the same period in 2019.

“Ma-attribute natin ito sa intensified campaign on illegal drugs. Ayun pa rin talaga. We can safely say that because of the intensified campaign on illegal drugs, criminals are staying away from committing crimes lalo na yung involved sa droga. Kasi kapag under the influence of illegal drugs ang isang tao, may tendency talaga na gumawa ng krimen  pero dahil na-reduce natin ‘yung paggamit ng droga , bumaba din ang krimen,” the PNP spokesperson said.

Banac echoed PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde’s point that the no-nonsense crackdown on illegal drug trafficking and abuse started by the PNP since July 2016 have made a major impact on the crime volume as it led to a great reduction in crimes against properties and persons.

The PNP spokesperson particularly cited the decrease in index crimes which include murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft, car theft, motorcycle theft, and cattle-rustling to 16,235 this year, from 22,100 in the first quarter of 2018.  

PNP records showed that theft during the period in review is still the highest among the index crimes with 5,039; followed by physical injury, 4,447; and robbery with 2,273.

In 2018, the PNP said  the number of crimes went down by at least nine percent compared to the 2017 figures. Records showed that a total of 473,068 crimes were recorded in 2018 which is 9.13 percent lower compared to 520,641 crimes posted in 2017.

The eight focus crimes – murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft, carjacking of four-wheeled vehicles and motorcycles – went down by 28.14 percent, from 107,254 cases in 2017 to 77,068 last year.

Robbery cases registered the highest drop with 32.38 percent, from 16,076 to 10,870. Theft incidents decreased by 31.49 percent, from 34,435 to 23,590.

Murder cases dropped by 22.20 percent, from 8,826 to 6,866. Homicide cases posted a 17.01 percent decrease from 2,592 to 2,151.

Banac earlier said the war on drugs since July 2016 have left 6,600 armed drug offenders dead, more than 240,000 others arrested and over 11,000 barangays already cleared from illegal drug trafficking and abuse.

Official PNP records showed that during the period, PNP anti-narcotics operatives arrested 240,565 suspected drug personalities in 153,276 operations across the country.

Those operations also led in the surrender of 1,283,409 confessed drug dealers and users as a result of the vaunted PNP Oplan: Tokhang.

The PNP Directorate for Operations said that from January to May this year, the continuing crackdown against drugs resulted in the killing of 822 armed drug personalities following gunbattles with the police. Another 38,937 known shabu and marijuana dealers nationwide were also arrested as a result of 25,338 anti-drug operations.

The past five months also saw 2,755 confessed drug personalities surrendering as a result of the PNP Oplan: Tokhang, the biggest number of them-281- coming from Calabarzon region which is under the jurisdiction of the Police Regional Office 4-A headed by Brigadier General Edward E. Carranza. The PRO4-A conducted a total of 502 Oplan: Tokhang activities in different areas of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.

The PNP said that as of last April, 20,471 or 48.69 percent of the country’s 42,045 barangays are yet to be declared as drug-free. Of the total, 282 barangays were tagged as ‘seriously affected’ by drugs while 10,835 are moderately affected. Another 9,354 are known as ‘slightly affected.’

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said that as of last January 31, more than 11,000 barangays nationwide have already been declared as ‘drug-free’ with nearly 22,000 others yet to be cleared of drugs.

PDEA chair, Director General Aaron N. Aquino said that before declaring that a barangay free from illegal drug activities, the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) must convene and validate the non-availability of drug supply in the area and the absence of drug transit activity, clandestine drug laboratory and chemical warehouse, marijuana cultivation site, drug den, drug pushers and users.

Aquino added that the activation of Barangay Drug Abuse Councils, or BADACs, is very crucial in the success of the implementation of the campaign.  

During the period, a total of 301 secret drug dens and shabu laboratories in the country were also smashed following operations which netted nearly P26 billion worth of dangerous drugs including some P19.14 billion worth of shabu.