THE Cagayan Valley Police Provincial Office yesterday noted a massive reduction in major crimes in the province since they strictly implemented the Enhanced Community Quarantine and assured the public that all security measures to thwart criminality and terror and at the same time help prevent the spready of the COVID-19 virus are in place under the ‘new normal’ situation.
Cagayan police director, Colonel Ariel N. Quilang said from March 17 to April 30, they registered a total of 11 crimes which is a 67 percent reduction compared to the 33 recorded from February 1 to March 16 in the province.
He attributed it to the limited movement of people due to the implementation of the curfew hours and the presence of officers manning Community Quarantine Points round-the-clock.
In particular, he said they recovered only six cases of murder and homicide from March 17 to last April 30 compared to the 15 registered from February 1 to March 16.
“We have reasons to believe that the lockdown we implemented in the province gave would-be perpetrators nary a chance to go outside their residents and carry out any illegal acts,” the official said.
Quilang said during the same period, they only recorded 10 vehicular incidents compared to the 62 registered from February 1 to March 16.
“This is due to the limited movement of vehicles due to the lockdown and our effort to ensure that only Authorized Persons Outside of Residence would be allowed to travel from one place to another in the province,” he said.
During the same period, the local police recorded a total of 1,862 non-index crimes or violation of special laws compared to the 201 registered from February 1 to March 16. The number of non-index crimes increased due to the strict enforcement of the ECQ which led in the arrest of violators of Republic Act 11132 or the law on reporting of communicable diseases, Quilang said.
The official said that from March 16 to last May 15, their anti-criminality operations have netted 23 persons who are the subject of warrants of arrest for various felonies including the province’s 12 Most Wanted Persons and likewise arrested a total of 214 persons in a string of anti-criminality operations, six of them involved in illegal drug trafficking.
Since the start of the ECQ in the province, police have arrested a total of 947 violators, majority of them for violating the protocols on the mandatory wearing of face masks, drinking in public, violation of the curfew hours and for having no quarantine passes.
Of the total, 258 were ordered to pay fines for violation of city and municipal ordinances while the rest are now facing charges, mostly for violation of the provisions of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
Quilang said in consonance with the program of Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa and Police Regional Office 2 director, Brigadier General Angelito N. Casimiro to help the ‘poorest of the poor’ who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, they also adopted a total of 5,144 families across the province.
“It was made through our own Project BIBAR or Biyaya para sa BARangay) which jibes with the PNP’s Kapwa Ko Sagot Ko project,” the official told the Journal Group.
Quilang said they also see to it that all General Community Quarantine guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force in the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will be fully implemented in the province.
“We are not lowering our guards and are seeing to it that under the ‘new normal,’ all health and anti-criminality measures would be strictly implemented in the entire province for the protection of its residents,” the official said.