Much safer streets are what Filipinos want

December 01, 2018

I think that having a much safer streets is everybody’s concern in this country but still, let’s admit it that the public still plays a major part in realizing this, particularly in seeing to it that criminals and terrorists won’t be given any opportunity to perpetrate their illegal activities without getting caught and paying for their crimes.

To do this, everybody should really be aware of the words ‘the police is the community and the community is the police.’ It’s really time to act and get away with the usual apathy associated with crime reporting. Let’s play an active part in this campaign and stop the practice of not reporting crimes or would-be crimes affecting our neighbors except when the victims themselves are members of our immediate family.

I’m writing this in the wake of Palace pronouncements that Filipinos feel “safer” with the Duterte government’s war on drugs and criminality amid the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey which revealed that 1.4 million (6.1 percent) Filipino families were victimized by common crimes over the past six months.

Indeed, there have been significant strides made by the current administration in keeping the streets safe thru the Philippine National Police’s massive crackdown against drugs and crime. Add to it the ongoing PNP discipline drive in the country specifically in Metro Manila where over 540,000 violators of different city and municipal ordinances have been apprehended since June 13 to date.

It should be noted that since Gen. Albayalde and NCRPO chief, Director Gilor Eleazar ordered the enforcement of the discipline drive, there has been a significant reduction in street crimes in the metropolis. During the period, over 25,000 persons have been arrested for drinking in public places while over 33,200 minors were apprehended for violating curfew hours. Had they were not accosted, we really can’t say how many more drunken fights or killings as well as gang wars involving minors in the streets would have actually taken place in Metro Manila streets since last June.

Last Friday, the SWS said that the 3rd quarter survey result of families victimized by common crimes is 0.7 point higher than 5.3 percent or 1.2 Filipino families who reported the same in the second quarter. The SWS survey was released days after we were told that a total of 4,999 armed drug dealers have been killed in gunbattles with government law enforcement agents from July 1, 2016 up to last October 31 while another 161,584 known drug personalities were also arrested as a result of 113,570 anti-narcotics operations which include the conduct of buy-bust operations, service of search warrants and other interdiction operations during the period in review.

The figures were released during a RealNumbers PH Year 2 forum at Camp Crame presided over by  Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag- Rafael of the Presidential Communications Office and my friends PNP spokesman, Chief Superintendent Bong Durana Jr. and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency spokesperson, Director Derrick  Carreon.

During the period, the Duterte government also dismantled 258 secret drug dens and 13 clandestine shabu laboratories; declared as ‘drug-cleared’ 8,935 out of the country’s total 42,044 barangays; and arrested 600 government workers involved in illegal drug trafficking and abuse  broken down into 278 government employees, 257 elected officials and 65 uniformed personnel.