Drug war vital in reducing crimes in National Capital Region, rest of Philippines

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 Duterte since July 2016, Philippine National Police officials told the Journal Group yesterday.

In Metro Manila particularly, National Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, said crime rate has gone down by 58 percent during the first three years of the Duterte administration. He attributed it to the effective anti-crime strategy and  increased public trust and confidence in the police which encouraged citizens to report crimes including those involving illegal drug trafficking and abuse.

“Evidently, the less number of drug addicts on the street equates to lesser criminal activities and criminal incidents,” Eleazar said while explaining that drug abuse and addiction lead to crime because of the constant need to purchase substances.

“To some extent, they are forced to steal, rob shops and innocent people on the streets, barge into homes, in worst cases have to assault, hurt and even kill their victims to get money to buy illegal drugs,” he said.

The NCRPO chief also cited the steady police presence on the streets, strict implementation of local ordinances and national laws as well as PNP’s information dissemination as important measures to prevent crime and ensure public safety and their no-nonsense internal cleansing program as among the factors behind the metropolis’ reduced crime incidents.

Eleazar likewise said crime prevention has been greatly assisted by technology through CCTVs, GPS systems, tracking devices, and smart phones, among others. “With the advent of technology and social media, the accomplishments, plans and programs of Team-NCRPO have gained trust and confidence from the public.  Netizens are even more cooperative and supportive in giving relevant information and reports,” he said.

The official said  major crimes including murder and rape have declined by 57.69 percent in Metro Manila during the first 35 months of the Duterte administration. The other focus crimes are homicide, physical injuries, robbery, theft, and motor vehicle and motorcycle theft.

Eleazar said they recorded 35.61 percent reduction in homicide cases 51.07% physical injuries, 70.16% robbery, 63.33% in theft, 76.99% in motor vehicle theft and  61.66 percent  in motorcycle theft.

According to PNP spokesman, Colonel Bernard M. Banac, the total crime volume was reported by the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management headed by Maj. Gen. Elmo Francis O. Sarona.

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

PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde, pointed out 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.

He 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.