2024 February 12
PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr.
MANILA – The country’s crime rate has dropped by 27.63 percent from Jan. 1 to Feb. 10 this year, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Monday.
In a press briefing held at Camp Crame, Quezon City, PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. said the number of index crimes during this period decreased to 3,246 from 4,485 incidents in the same period last year.
Index crimes are considered serious crimes, while non-index crimes are violations of local ordinances and laws and road crashes.
“Focus crimes have also witnessed a notable decrease of 27.60 percent, translating to 1,229 cases –from 4,453 to 3,224,” Acorda said.
The eight focus crimes include theft, physical injury, rape, robbery, murder, homicide, motorcycle theft and vehicle theft.
Acorda said police officers seized a total of PHP456 million worth of narcotics and arrested close to 6,000 drug suspects from Jan. 1 to Feb. 8.
Acorda further reiterated that extrajudicial killings are not part of PNP’s operational doctrine.
“With regards to that data as presented, we checked with the data of the DIDM (Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management) and indeed, there are some operations that resulted to such death. To our appreciation, these operations that resulted in some deaths, the use of necessary force doctrine was adopted. Meaning, even though it’s not our wish talaga na may mamatay (that somebody dies) but because in the act of self-defense and other circumstances, such death resulted (from) these kinds of operation,” Acorda said, when sought for a comment on “Project Dahas”, a study released by the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman.
The study logged 28 drug-related killings in January, nine of which were during police operations.
“We don’t condone extrajudicial killings and these allegations of Dahas, we welcome them. If they have some facts or circumstances and witnesses that will say otherwise to what was reported to our units on the ground, we welcome them because again as I have said, we want our operations to be aggressive but we want it done honestly and we respect what we call rights of every individual na hinuhuli (who is arrested),” he said.
Meanwhile, Acorda said the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group served 29 warrants of arrest and conducted 15 entrapment operations.
Online scams topped the list of recorded cybercrimes at 749, followed by 368 cases of illegal access and 147 cases of online libel.
“I want to highlight the notable increase in online cases, particularly 439 cases of online selling scams, 113 cases of investment scams, and 102 cases of debit and credit card fraud/phishing. As we celebrate the month of February, dedicated to love, it is crucial to remain vigilant in the realm of cybercrime and protect ourselves and our loved ones from falling victim to love scams. Let us prioritize education on digital safety and stay vigilant,” Acorda said.
Hunt vs. 4 armed groups in Samar
Meanwhile, the PNP Regional Office 8 is stepping up its hunt against members of four existing criminal gangs in Samar province after the recent clash with an armed group that claimed the lives of three police officers.
PRO8 Director Brig. Gen. Reynaldo Pawid said these four groups have at least 30 members, and most of them have standing warrants of arrest for murder charges.
“There’s no timeline set to wipe out these criminal gangs, but they are the focus of our operation since they are notorious and dangerous,” Pawid told reporters on the sidelines of the PNP 33rd Foundation Day commemoration.
The official said they are heeding orders from the Chief PNP to intensify the manhunt against the Samar criminal group following the Jan. 30 encounter in Santa Margarita, Samar, that killed three cops and wounded four others.
These gang members, according to Pawid, are operating in different parts of Samar provinces and may be used by erring politicians to attack their opponents and intimidate voters in the 2025 midterm elections.
hristopher Lloyd Caliwan (PNA)