Continuous crime rate decline shows anti-drug campaign’s success

118TH POLICE SERVICE ANNIVERSARY. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte greets Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Police General Oscar Albayalde after the latter’s welcome remarks at the 118th Police Service Anniversary at Camp Brigadier General Rafael T. Crame in Quezon City on August 9, 2019. Also in the photo is Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año (left). (King Rodriguez/Presidential Photo)

MANILA — The continuous drop in the country’s crime rate indicates that the government’s campaign against illegal drugs is successful.

“Crime has remained on a downtrend. And we are winning the war on illegal drugs. As I have promised since I assumed command over the PNP in April 2018, we will not relax, we will not relent, and we will fulfill our President’s vision of a drug-free Philippines,” said PNP chief, Gen Oscar Albayalde, in his speech during the 118th Police Service Anniversary in Camp Crame on Friday.

He said that from July 1, 2016 to July 31, 2019, the PNP has conducted a total of 163,622 anti-illegal drugs operations resulting in the arrest of more than 256,000 drug personalities, the death of more than 6,000 in police operations, and the surrender of more than 1,200,000 under Oplan Tokhang.

He noted that the operation against high-value targets resulted in the arrest of 3,133, the surrender of 3,705 and the death of 325 in police operations.

With this, he noted that crime incidents continuously decreased for the past three years.

From more than 626,000 from July 2015 to June 2016, the total crime volume decreased by 58,276 or 9.30 percent during the first year of President Duterte’s term covering the period July 2016 to June 2017.

This further decreased by 79,647 incidents or 14.02 percent on the second year covering the period July 2017 to June 2018, and further went down by 2.91 percent on the third year covering the period July 2018 to June 2019.

“Furthermore, out of 42,045 barangays, more than 13,000 have been declared drug-free. Let me assure our countrymen that all police operations against illegal drugs continue to be conducted within the bounds of the law with utmost respect for human rights,” said Albayalde.

The country’s top cop said the anti-illegal drugs campaign does not stop with the arrest of drug personalities, as the PNP has the Recovery and Wellness Program that offers hope, new life and a bright future for surrenderers.

“Through this community-based recovery and out-patient wellness program, we hope to transform them by providing spiritual, psychological, physiological, economic and other forms of support to capacitate them to help rebuild their lives, restore their values and become productive members of society. From 2016 to July 2019, more than 435,000 surrenderers have graduated from this program,” he explained.

Saying that the PNP remains relentless in its campaign to wipe out illegal drugs, Albayalde said they effectively sustained the decline in the crime rate “as we intensified operations particularly against the eight focus crimes namely -murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft, carnapping of motor vehicles and motorcycles.”

With the result, Albayalde welcomed the new survey ranking the Philippines as the 24th best place to live and work, just behind the United States, which ranked as 23rd, and ahead of China, which ranked the 26th.

“This only shows that the government’s strong and relentless peace and order campaign significantly contributed to creating a secure environment across the nation where our countrymen feel safe to work, live and do business,” Albayalde stressed. (PNA)

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan / PNA