THE inclusion of the Philippines in the list of top countries with good peace and order and suitable for retirement and doing business is a vindication of the police’s aggressive campaign against illegal drugs and the strict enforcement of local ordinances which imposed curfew and prohibited drinking in public, Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said yesterday.
Eleazar, commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said the peace and order situation in the country can be greatly attributed to the Philippine National Police’s crackdown on drugs and the police and barangay’s wholehearted effort to fully enforce ordinances which prevented neighborhood toughies from hanging out and drinking in public.
Eleazar was reacting to the recent 2020 Global Law and Order report by United States-based analytics and advisory firm Gallup which showed the Philippines getting 84/100 score along with Australia, New Zealand, Poland and Serbia.
Gallup’s Global Law and Order report is a worldwide gauge of people’s sense of personal security and their personal experiences with crime and law enforcement. Those who were surveyed in the Philippines also have positive perception of the PNP headed by General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan.
Lt. Gen. Eleazar said the Philippines enjoyed the feat twice since it also obtained the same score during the 2019 Global Law and Order.
He said the 2019 and 2020 Gallup Reports were an improvement on the 2017 and 2018 Reports where the Philippines scored 82.
“All along, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was right when he said that the illegal drugs problem is the root cause of most of the crimes in the country. Through aggressive drug war, we were able to reduce the nationwide index crime by 62 percent in the first 42 months of his administration,” the official said.
Security officials said the people now feel more safe and secured after drug pushers and users were taken off the streets.
They explained that it is the same drug personalities who would usually engage in snatching, robbery and even homicide and murder as they needed money to sustain their illegal drugs habit. There were also a number of cases of men high on drugs committing rape and other heinous crimes.
Gen. Cascolan and the Department of the Interior and Local Government also ordered the strong presence of police at the barangay level to keep the streets and communities safe from criminals.
Gallup, in its survey, used the following questions to measure the people’s sense of personal security and their personal experiences with crime and law enforcement:
1. In the city or area where you live, do you have confidence in the police force?
2. Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?
3. Within the last 12 months, have you had money or property stolen from you or another household member?
4. Within the past 12 months, have you been assaulted or mugged?
Aside from sweeping the streets of drug pushers and users, Eleazar said the improved score of the Philippines in the past two years can also be attributed to the aggressive implementation of local ordinances against those hanging out on the streets especially during nighttime particularly in Metro Manila and other urban areas.
In 2018, President Duterte ordered the PNP to run after the so-called “tambays” who have been the subject of numerous complaints for street crimes that include snatching, bullying and harassment of women, especially those who work in call center firms and those who have night shift jobs.
As a result of the full implementation of the law and different city and municipal ordinances, more than 3.6 million violators were apprehended from July 13, 2018 to February 2, 2020. Metro Manila accounted for 1.8 million accosted violators
“This resulted in the significant decrease of bullying and sexual harassment by neighborhood toughies against workers, especially those who report to work and go home during nighttime,” said Lt. Gen. Eleazar.
During the first 42 months of the administration of President Duterte, the PNP noted a 62 percent reduction of index crimes compared to the last 42 months of the past administration, or from 900,200 cases from January 2013 to June 2016 to only 341,232 cases from July 2016 to December 2019.
This translates to a daily average of 706 cases during the last 42 months of the past administration to only 267 daily average under the Duterte administration, said Eleazar.
In Metro Manila, the National Capital Region Police Office headed by Major Gen. Debold M. Sinas recorded a 62 percent reduction in index crime during the same 42-month period, or from 143,643 cases of Eight Focus Crimes to only 54,977—or from 113 cases daily to only 43 cases per day.
“These figures are just the humble accomplishments of your PNP. While we in the PNP and the JTF COVID Shield believe these anti-criminality gains, along with our aggressive internal cleansing in order for all policemen to be role model public servants, played important roles in improving our peace and order situation, the final decision on whether or not these accomplishments are felt by our kababayan still lies on the public, especially those who commute and those whose part of the daily grind is to be on the streets,” said Eleazar.
“But we in the JTF COVID Shield and the PNP are elated by the result of this survey which was done by an international advisory and analytic company because this serves as an affirmation that our fruits of our sacrifices and hard labor are being felt and appreciated by the people we serve,” he added.
Eleazar said the morale of the PNP and other law enforcement agencies was boosted with the result of the survey.
He also vowed to continue doing more not only to further improve the image of the police force but also to prove to the world that the Philippines is on the right path in making the country a safe place to invest and a much better place to live in.
Eleazar expressed confidence that the Philippines would further improve in the Gallup Law and Order Report in the coming years since the nationwide index crime further went down by 46 percent during the community quarantine period which began lastMarch 17. -30-