PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa has noted a 54.93 percent reduction in index crimes in the country from March 17 to June 15 this year compared to the period December 17, 2019 to March 16, 2020, attributing it to the stepped-up police visibility and cooperation of the public since they started strictly enforcing quarantine measures to help prevent further spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus last March.
According to the top cop, they only recorded 6,408 index crimes during the March 17 to June 15, 2020 period compared to the 14,219 index crimes recorded from December 17, 2019 to last March 16.
Index crimes are crimes against persons and property that the PNP considers serious” and which occur with regularity” across all cities, towns and municipalities so much so that its number can become an index or guide to determine how crime-infested an area is.
They include cases of murder, homicide, physical injury, carnapping, cattle-rustling, robbery, theft, rape, motor vehicle and motorcycle theft.
During the 119th Police Service Anniversary last week, Gen. Gamboa also said they have proved their resolve and capability to enforce the law against high value criminals with the increase in the arrest of Most Wanted Persons at the different levels nationwide, highlighted by the recent arrest of Ruben Ecleo, the country’s number 1 most wanted criminal who has been in hiding for nine years until he was captured by NCRPO agents in Pampanga last week.
He added that from October 14, 2019 to last August 1, the PNP under him conducted a total of 41,972 anti-narcotics operations which led in the arrest of 62,342 drug targets, the surrender of 3,293 drug personalities and the confiscation of roughly two tons of shabu worth P15.379 billion.
He paid tribute to the men and women of the PNP-DEG who were behind the seizure of P5.6 billion worth of shabu in Marilao, Bulacan as well as three other major anti-drug operations in Cavite and Metro Manila this year.
President Duterte commended the 209,000-strong police force for a job well done in the war on drugs, criminality and corruption while at the same time being in the frontlines of the government’s effort to help arrest the further spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
Gen. Gamboa and Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año gave awards to police units and officers and men who have played a major role in keeping crime down in the country thru their untiring dedication to duty.
The National Unit Awardees are the Police Regional Office 4-A headed by Brigadier Gen. Vicente D. Danao Jr. the Davao del Norte Police Provincial Office; the Iloilo City Police Office; the Isabela City Police Station in Basilan; the La Trinidad Municipal Police Station in Benguet; the Regional Mobile Force Company 4-A; the Laguna Provincial Mobile Force Company; the General Santos City Mobile Force Company; the PNP Special Action Force headed by Major Gen. Amando Clifton B. Empiso and the PNP Information Technology Management Service headed by Brig. Gen. Samuel P. Rodriguez.
Given Special Awards were the PNP Drug Enforcement Group headed by Brig. Gen. Romeo M. Caramat Jr. for accounting for nearly P12 billion worth of shabu and arresting ‘high-value targets’ since November 2019; the National Capital Region Police Office headed by Major Gen. Debold M. Sinas for its notable accomplishments against loose firearms in Metro Manila; the PRO4-A for the most number of arrested top most wanted personalities; the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group headed by Brig. Gen. Jonnel C. Estomo for its exemplary accomplishments in the crackdown against kidnapping-for-ransom thru intelligence-driven operations; and the Police Regional Office 12 headed by Brig. Gen. Michael John F. Dubria for its revitalized physical condition and sports combat program.
Given special awards for their role in the government’s effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic were PNP Deputy Chief for Administration and concurrent commander of the Administrative Support Force for COVID-19 Task Force, Lieutenant Gen. Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan; PNP Deputy Chief for Operations and Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar; PNP Chief Directorial Staff and Deputy Commander of the ASCOTF, Lt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne R. Binag; PNP Director for Operations and JTF COVID Shield Deputy Commander, Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Luis D. Licup; Police Regional Office 3 director, Brig. Gen. Rhodel O. Sermonia; Baguio City Police Office director, Colonel Allen Rae Co; the PNP Health Service headed by Brig. Gen. Herminio S. Tadeo Jr. and the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group headed by Maj. Gen. Joel Napoleon M. Coronel.
Gen. Gamboa said the annual event ‘brings us all together to recall and appreciate the beginnings of the police service and to pay tribute to our forebears and police heroes who fought, sacrificed, and died so that our beloved country may enjoy freedom, peace, and security.”
“ As we commemorate yet another chapter in the PNP history, I hope that every man and woman of this organization know the police service history by heart, because by knowing our roots and our history of gallantry and valor, that we could find the wisdom to move forward and be inspired to equal or even surpass the triumph of our noble police heroes that marked the history of the PNP,” he added.
The 23rd PNP chief led the national police force since October last year in embarking on a mission to ‘write a new narrative for the organization: a drug-free and corrupt-free police force and bringing forth team spirit among PNP personnel.”
The PNP chief said he is bent on fulfilling his mission to restore the image of the PNP “into one that would portray the police officer as a trustworthy and respectable public servant in the eyes of the people.”
At present, the PNP’s Revitalized Internal Cleansing Program is being spearheaded by the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group headed by Brig. Gen. Ronald O. Lee who has been tasked to go after rogues in uniform, regardless of their rank and position.
“ This program utilizes a holistic approach that covers punitive, restorative, and preventive strategies that aim to discipline, correct, and set an example to the police force with an end goal of elevating our service reputation and to eventually gain the trust of our citizenry. I am very much thankful to all of our head of offices and unit commanders for the unflinching support and dedication to vigorously implement this program and harp the message that we mean business when it comes to personnel discipline,” Gen. Gamboa said.