AS we begin 2023 with new opportunities, hopes and resolutions, I wish our dear country in general and Philippine National Police in particular all the best as it continues to reform and really practice good governance to really ‘serve and protect’ the people.
Congratulations are also in order for the PNP headed by General Jun Azurin who has remained focused in his job as the country’s 28th top cop and the 1st to be designated by the Commander-in-Chief, President Bongbong Marcos Jr.
Gen. Azurin, his Generals and all his men down to the lowest-ranked Patrolman deserves all the support and cooperation they need from the government and of course, the people amid the challenges they continue to face daily as they keep the streets safe while the rest of Filipinos have a good sleep in the confines of their homes.
Having covered the police force since 1989—the year that Gen. Azurin and other members of Philippine Military Academy ‘Makatao’ Class of 1989 graduated from Fort del Pilar—I have made it a mission to truly inform the public of what the police force has been doing or what it has failed to do.
I strongly believe that as a responsible journalist and a Filipino really loving his country, I should keep the citizens and the community informed, that they must get the accurate and honest news they really deserve, no matter who gets hurt. This is the essence of true journalism and all journalist worth his salt knows this.
Year 2022 actually saw the PNP getting a number of milestones particularly when it comes to greatly improving its ‘move, shoot, communicate and investigate’ capabilities amid despite the many challenges brought about by the pandemic.
Who will forget the May 2022 elections which has been regarded as the most peaceful and fair in Philippine history? Who will forget the new crime trends, the celebrated crimes and other incidents which even involved some rogues in uniform specifically those involved in drugs?
However, just like the proverbial Phoenix, the 226,000-strong police force managed to carry on with its job with full determination to succeed amid a high approval rating given by the public in year-long surveys.
Year 2022 actually saw the police force being commanded by three Peemayers: 1st in the list if Gen. Dionards Carlos of PMA ‘Maringal’ Class of 1988 followed by Lieutenant Gen. Vic Danao of PMA ‘Sambisig’ Class of 1991 who became the PNP Officer-in-Charge from May 8 to August 1 until PBBM appointed Gen. Azurin Jr. to be his 1st top cop.
Gen. Azurin has expressed their full determination to ensure the safety of the nation and fully enforce the law without fear or favor with the high approval ratings given by the public as shown by a Pulse Asia survey last September 22.
The performance of the current administration was assessed based on a number of key issues and 67 percent of the respondents fully approved of the government’s effort in ‘fighting criminality’ which is actually the PNP’s domain.
The improved ranking of The Philippines in the ‘order and security’ parameters of the global rule of law in 2022 was also evident in the World Justice Project report released last October 26.
It showed that the country ranked 97th out of 140 countries or five notches higher from its 102nd rank in 2021. Much credit to the country’s improved international ranking on rule of law index was given to the PNP which has embarked on a massive policing reforms to uphold justice.
The top cop said that The Philippines’ improvement in “order and security” parameters as noted by the WJP is a fair statement and objective acknowledgment of the initiatives of the national institution in upholding the rule of law in its enforcement, prosecution, judiciary, corrections, and community pillars of the criminal justice system.
The WJP report said that while 85 out of 140 countries saw a decline in the rule of law index, The Philippines is among a few countries that surpassed its own previous ranking in the February to June 2022 survey of the organization conducted among 154,000 households and 3,600 legal practitioners.
The rule of law index is measured through eight parameters — constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice.
Another most welcome news is that the PNP recorded a 14.42 percent reduction in the country’s total crime volume in 2022 compared to that in 2021. Records from the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management showed that the overall number of crimes in The Philippines significantly went down last December compared to the figures recorded in December 2021.
Gen. Azurin attributed the major crime rate drop to their maximum deployment of people, the spirit of their Kasimbayanan program which calls on enhanced partnership between the police
force, the church and the public and their stepped-up campaign against drugs thru the Buhay ay Ingatan, Droga’s Iwasan or BIDA program of the Department of Interior and Local Government headed by Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr.
According to the PNP chief, the PNP-DIDM record showed that the national Total Crime Volume dropped from 10,643 cases in 2021 to 9,108 cases in 2022. The eight focus crimes which include murder, homicide, physical injury, robbery, theft, vehicle theft, motorcycle theft, and rape have an overall decrease of 694 or 29.79 percent from 2,330 in 2021 to 1,636 in 2022 comparing same period.
“Among these eight focus crimes, the top three most prevalent crimes from December 1 to 20, 2022, were theft, rape and physical injury with recorded cases of 609, 262 and 211 which is lower than the previous year, with 710, 567 and 331 cases respectively, ” Gen. Azurin said.
The PNP chief attributed the downward trend in crimes to the maximum deployment of PNP personnel nationwide especially during the recent long holiday season where the community really felt maximum police presence everywhere.
He also attributed it to their stepped-up partnership with the religious sector and the community and the simultaneous launching and roll-out of the DILG’s BIDA program which has been the centerpiece of a more aggressive anti-illegal drugs campaign by PBBM’s government.
Congratulations are likewise in order for the PNP for achieving a high crime solution efficiency for 2022 as a result of its E-Projects such as the e-Rouge, e-Blotter, e-Warrant, and the dedication and passion of its investigators who have solved major crimes like the Percy Lapid slay and the cases of some of the 34 ‘missing Sabungeros.’
Based on the DIDM data, the Crime Solution Efficiency (CSE) in 2021 improved by 3.93 percent from 78.54 percent to 82.47 percent this year.
Credit goes to the men and women of the different Police Regional Offices topped by the NCRPO headed by Major Gen. Jonnel Estomo, the PRO4-A under Brigadier Gen. Jose Melencio Nartatez Jr. and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group headed by Brig. Gen. Ronald Lee. Incidentally, all three are proud products of PMA ‘Tanglaw-Diwa’ Class of 1992.