Falling crime volume basis for winning war on drugs: PNP
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde on Thursday said steady decline in crime volume and improvement of peace and order is their basis in saying the Duterte administration is winning in their war against illegal drugs.
At the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines Prospects Forum, Albayalde said crimes such as rape, crime against property, theft, and robbery are on the “downtrend”.
“Our basis for saying that we are winning is because the continuous decline of our crime volume, improvement on peace and order,” he said.
“This is the best indication that we are winning the war on drugs. It's because if you are not winning the war on drugs then probably all the other crimes are probably still there,” he added.
The chief of the PNP said perpetrators of these crimes were mostly involved in illegal drugs.
“The president (Rodrigo Duterte) is correct when he said that those perpetrators on other crimes are those also involved in illegal drugs. Remember the focus here is anti-illegal drugs but then again why are these crimes going down,” said Albayalde citing the lower carnapping cases in Quezon City which he called as “carnapping capital of the Philippines”.
In his speech, Albayalde said total crime volume dipped 30 percent or 202,748 fewer crime incidents from 675,816 in 2015 to only 472,068 in 2018 with a corresponding decrease of 16.62 percent in non-index crimes and 61.59 percent in index crimes.
He said among index crime incidents, crimes against property posted the largest rate of decline between 2015 and 2018 with 65.75 percent decrease in robbery cases, 71.49 percent decrease in theft and a 62.22 percent decrease in carnapping.
He added tangible indicators of improved peace and order environment in 2018 is best expressed by the all-time high 3.7 million tourist arrivals in the first semester which is 10.4 percent higher than the previous year.
Albayalde said they have conducted 55,146 anti-illegal drugs operations or 102 percent more than the 27,266 operations launched in 2015.
The high number of arrested drug personalities according to Albayalde is also an indication of their achievement in their illegal drugs operations.
“That's why we are confident when we say we are winning on the war on drugs. You see for the past two and half years, we have already arrested more than 223,000 drug personalities,” he said.
“This is the reason why we say that we are gaining or in a momentum where we are gaining our war on drugs,” he added.
Based on the PNP’s assessments, more than half of the country is drug affected.
Of the 42,044 barangays nationwide 23,262 are categorized as drug affected with various degrees of affectation. These affected barangays include 247 categorized as seriously affected due to the presence of at least one clandestine drug laboratory or marijuana plantation where more than 20 percent of the population are listed as drug personalities.
“Half of the 23,262 affected barangays are categorized as slightly affected where less than 2 percent of the population are listed as drug personalities,” Albayalde added.
The rest according to the PNP chief are categorized as moderately affected where drug personalities comprise between 2 to 19.9 percent of the population.
A total of 5,760 drug personalities died during their police operations.
“I would like to point out however that despite these deaths, a recent survey or review conducted by our own human rights affairs office found that 98 percent of police anti-drug operations over the 10 month period in January to October 2018 are compliant with human rights standards,” Albayalde said.
They were able to arrest 74,131 drug law violators in 45,668 separate police anti-drug operations in January to October 2018.
He assured the public that the national police force will always adhere to the rule of law because this is our mandate.
“We are here to serve and protect every member of the community and to make sure the no one is above the law and I would like to further assure you that as a policy the PNP remains firmly responsive to the requirements for human rights in law enforcement,” said Albayalde. Ella Dionisio/DMS