MANILA — THE GOVERNMENT’S intensified efforts to uphold the rule of law resulted in a 51-percent decline in the country’s crime rate since the start of community quarantine measures in the country, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Wednesday.
Citing data from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Lorenzana said only 10,145 crimes were reported nationwide from March 17 to July 20, compared to the 20,575 crimes reported from Nov. 17, 2019 to March 16, 2020.
“Rule of law (is) strengthened, pinalakas natin ang pananaig sa batas ng ating bansa. Napanatili ng ating kapulisan ang kapayapaan at kaligtasan ng ating mga pamayanan. Bumaba ang bilang ng krimen, napabilis ang pagresolba sa mga ito at napaigting ang kampanya laban sa iligal na droga (we strengthened our commitment to uphold the law. Our police officers have maintained the peace and safety of our people. Crime incidents decreased and the resolution of these crimes were fast-tracked and we also strengthened the campaign against illegal drugs),” said Lorenzana, head of the Security, Justice and Peace Cluster during a pre-SONA forum.
The data covers the eight focus crimes of murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft, car theft, and motorcycle theft.
The crime rate in Luzon declined by 52 percent, from 10,870 from Nov. 12, 2019 to March 16, 2020 to 5,267 from March 17 to July 20, while the Visayas registered a 53-percent decrease from 5,236 to 2,519, and Mindanao saw a 46-percent drop, from 4,379 to 2,359 over the same period.
Earlier, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the PNP should not relax despite the decrease in crime incidence.
Año said the presence of PNP checkpoints and the issuance of quarantine passes by LGUs would continue during the general community quarantine (GCQ) because movement would still be limited and only those allowed to work in permitted industries and access essential services are allowed to leave their residences.
The number of community quarantine violators in the country has reached 234,720 since mid-March.
Based on latest data from the Joint Task Force Covid Shield released on Wednesday from March 17 to July 20, most of the violators were from Luzon numbering 148,290, while 46,714 are from the Visayas and 39,716 are from Mindanao.
Meanwhile, out of the figure, 118,870 were warned, 42,412 were fined and 73,438 were arrested.
Last week, PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said they will intensify the enforcement of existing laws and local ordinances against drinking, smoking, and roaming around topless in public places in line with ongoing government efforts to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Gamboa added that the strict enforcement of ordinances includes those related to the observance of minimum health standard protocols such as wearing face masks, safe physical distancing, and avoiding mass gatherings.
He said he had already tasked all police commanders to increase police visibility through optimized personnel deployment in all places of convergence.
Meanwhile, Gamboa said the two tons of illegal drugs seized in various operations proved that the government is winning the war against illegal drugs.
Recent PNP data showed that law enforcers seized a total of 6.5 tons of shabu in 217,000 anti-illegal drug operations since July 1, 2016. (PNA)
On photo: A screen capture from pre-SONA forum. PNA file photo.