All-time low murder, rape cases during lockdown

PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa said yesterday that major crimes including murder, rape and motor vehicle and motorcycle theft hit an ‘all-time low’ since the start of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon and other parts of the country on March 16 to date.

According to the PNP chief, the eight focus crimes dipped sharply during the past 84 days of the community quarantine in the country specifically in Metro Manila.

He cited a comparative analysis from the Joint Task Force COVID Shield headed by PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lieutenant Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar which showed crime incidents dropping 57 percent or 7,352 cases fewer from the 13,004 recorded cases from Dec 24, 2019 to Mar 16, 2020 down to only 5,652 cases from Mar 17 to last June 8.

“Even as we are faced with unprecedented challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the PNP remains steadfast in fulfilling our mandate to serve and protect the people, not only as police front liners but as enforcers of peace and order,” said Gen. Gamboa.

According to Gen. Gamboa, the eight focus crimes in Luzon went down by 61% percent or from 6,922 cases to 2,720 incidents during the two comparative periods.

In the Visayas, the focus crime rate slipped to 54 percent and decreased from 3,344 cases to 1,546 incidents during the same period while in Mindanao, there was a recorded 49 percent reduction in focus crimes based on the 27,38 cases recorded from December to March down to 1,386 from March 16 to last Monday. 

Official records showed the following reduction in eight focus crimes from March 17, 2019 to last June 8 compared to the recorded cases from December 24, 2019 to last March 16.

Murder: from 1,486 to 932 or a 37 percent reduction; Homicide: from 359 to 252 or a 30 percent decrease; Physical Injury: from 2,171 to 1,348 or 38 percent; reduction Rape: from 1,738 to 885 or a 49 percent  decrease;  Robbery: from 2,036 to 658 or a 68 percent decrease;  Theft: from 4,246 to 1,391 or a 67 percent reduction; Theft of Motorcycle: from 880 to 170 or an 81 percent decrease; and Theft of Motor Vehicle or 4-wheeled motor vehicles like cars, SUVs, wagons and the like: from 88 to 16 or an 82 percent reduction.

Lt. Gen. Eleazar reported to Gen. Gamboa that since the start of the strict enforcement of the community quarantine, a total of 193,779  violators were either warned, fined and arrested, most of them from Luzon with 126,038 violators.

On the other hand, there were a total of 34,370 violators recorded in Visayas and 33,371 in Mindanao. 

PNP authorities in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry also arrested 885 persons found engaged in hoarding and profiteering as police launched a crackdown on people who took advantage of the COVI-19 situation to jack up prices of basic goods including face masks, alcohol, thermal scanners and other protective personnel equipment.

Police have also apprehended the operators or drivers of 15,119 public utility vehicles since last March 16 for violating the public transport ban ordered by the government to help prevent the spread of the killer virus.