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Eleazar, Villanueva: War on drugs main factor in PH crime reduction

August 4, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 241 views

EleazarTHE Philippine National Police’s (PNP) war on drugs over the past five years of the Duterte administration has played a major role in the significant reduction in the so-called Eight Focus Crimes in the country from June 2010 to June this year, PNP chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar made clear yesterday.

“While there are other factors that led to the significant decrease in crime in the past five years, the top cop stressed that the PNP’s relentless anti-illegal drug operations and their drive to put a stop to the illegal drug trade played a pivotal role in it.

“Maraming alegasyon, batikos o kritisismo ang ipinupukol sa Pangulong Duterte but if we are to look at the peace and order situation in the whole country which is our barometer, napakalaki ng ikinabuti at ikinaganda nito at mismong ang ating mga kababayan ay nararamdaman ang pagbabago,” Gen. Eleazar said.

He was referring to the major reduction in the Eight Focus Crimes in the country from July 10 to June this year which the PNP chief said was a clear indication that their strategies n preventing and fighting criminality are working well.

The PNP chief said that apart from the major crime reduction during the past five years of the Duterte administration, they also have recorded a significant increase in their Crime Solution Efficiency (CSE) and Crime Clearance Efficiency.

PNP data showed that a total of 1,113,712 focus crimes were recorded from July 2010 to June 2015. However, there were only 395,920 focus crimes registered from July 2015 to June 2021 or a 64.45 percent reduction.

The eight focus crimes are Murder, Homicide, Rape, Physical Injury, Robbery, Theft and Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Theft, otherwise known as ‘Carnapping of Motor Vehicles. ‘

The focus crimes are divided into two main classifications: First are crimes against persons which include murder, homicide, rape and physical injury; and 2nd are crimes against property which covers cases of robbery, theft and carnapping.

Gen. Eleazar maintained that the Duterte government’s campaign against illegal drugs has also notched significant gains since it started in July 2016. PNP officials have always maintained that most of the crimes in the country are related to illegal drugs.

“Marami pa ang dapat gawin para tuluyang matuldukan ang paglaganap ng iligal na droga sa bansa pero sa ilalim ng administrasyong ito, marami tayong nahuling big time at small time drug suspects. Tons of illegal drugs have been seized since 2016. Further, a number of drug-affected barangays have been cleared since July, 2016. Out of 42,045 barangays, 22,093 have been cleared. Ngayon lang po ito nangyari,” said Gen. Eleazar.

“Despite the great odds and seemingly overwhelming challenges, we will continue to deliver quality and professional services for the benefit of our main clientele—the Filipino people because as public officers, we owe it to them and our beloved country,” the PNP chief added.

Another part of the effective anti-crime campaign, according to the top cop is timely intervention based on the situation on the ground and innovations that would promote healthy cooperation between the police and the community.

“With almost all Filipinos going online due to the COVID-19 pandemic particularly social media for instance, the PNP chief initiated web-based platforms that include E-Sumbong which uses even Facebook in reporting crime and seeking police assistance, and Project E-ACCESS through the PNP Ani-Cybercrime Group, which gives netizens access to information regarding cellular phone numbers, e-mails and social media accounts that are being used for illegal online activities.

PNP crime statistics showed that from July 2010 to June 2015, the PNP recorded 458,367 crimes against persons while under President Duterte’s administration, only 170,168 crimes against persons were recorded or a 62.87 percent reduction.

The number of crimes against properties also declined by as much as 65.55 percent as data disclosed that during the previous administration, crime against property went as high as 655,345 compared to the records under President Duterte’s administration wherein the PNP tallied only a total of 225,752 property-related cases.

Official PNP records showed that from January to June 2020, there were a total of 21,716 Eight Focus Crimes recorded nationwide although the number from January to June this year was pegged at only 18,113 which is 3,603 incidents less compared to last year’s figures or a 16.59 percent reduction.

Overall, the PNP recorded a total of 193,103 crime incidents from January to June this year compared to the 197,903 total crimes registered during the same period in 2020 or a reduction of 4,804 cases or 2.43 percent.

The Average Monthly Index Crime Rate during the 2020 period was 19.14 compared to the average 18.04 AMICR this year or a 5.75 percent reduction.

During the period, the PNP’s intensified campaign against drugs resulted in the arrest of 38,273 known drug personalities and the seizure of more than P2.6 billion worth of shabu during the period. Another 698 drug personalities likewise surrendered to the police during the period.

The PNP Drug Enforcement Group (DEG) headed by Brigadier Gen. Remus B. Medina and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) headed by Major Gen. Vicente D. Danao Jr. were ‘major players’ in the successful campaign against ‘high-value targets’ by the police force.

Gen. Eleazar and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chair, Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva said they are also highly convinced that the government’s war on drugs is a success based on the much improved peace and order situation in the streets and most importantly, the big number of barangays in the country which have been declared as ‘drug-cleared’ since July 2016.

“Our barometer as always will be the peace and order situation, the index crimes recorded during the first five years of the two previous administration compared to the index crimes recorded during the first five years of the Duterte administration,” the PNP chief said.

The PNP leadership has attributed the major reduction in index crimes to the campaign on drugs noting that before, majority of these crimes were committed by people who are high on drugs or are into illegal substance abuse.

“Even the President had said that talagang masalimuot ang giyera sa droga but one parameter of success we consider is our crime situation. Talagang napakalaki ng pagbaba ng street crimes sa buong bansa and our official records will prove that,” Gen. Eleazar said.

Director General Villanueva also cited the very big number of barangays in the country which have been declared as ‘drug-cleared’ as a major factor in their assertion that the Duterte administration’s war on drugs is a success.

“Itong droga ay talagang me role sa pagbaba ng krimen. Hindi man natin nasolve totally ang problema, we may also look at the number of barangays cleared. Besides, hindi lang naman pulis ang involved sa pagsupil ng droga, kasama namin diyan ang mga Local Government Units, ang ibat-ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno, ang aming mga stakeholders, ang mamamayan,” the PNP chief said.

Director General Villanueva said that official RealNumbersPH Year 5 record will show that out of the 42,045 barangays in the country, a total of 22,093or 52.55 percent have been declared as ‘drug-cleared’ based on government parameters.

Another 13,210 or 31.42 percent of the total are yet to be ‘cleared’ to date although Villanueva expressed optimism they would be able to clear more by the end of the year.

“Isipin ninyo na na out of the more than 42,000 barangays in the country, some 13,000 na lang ang affected ng droga, meaning me mga presence ng pushers and users but we are optimistic that by the end of the year, baka mabawasan pa kaya nga nagdo-double time kami,” the PDEA chief said.