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Año challenges PNP to maintain ECQ crime rate drop even during GCQ

By Chito Chavez

Despite the relaxing of quarantine protocols after May 15 and the commendable 61 percent drop in crime rate, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday said the Philippine National Police (PNP) should continue to strictly enforce checkpoint procedures and conduct frequent patrol duties to stop criminals from doing their nefarious activities.

A cat walks past a man wearing a protective face mask who guard a barricade placed on an empty street amid the lockdown to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Metro Manila, April 21, 2020. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez / MANILA BULLETIN)

A cat walks past a man wearing a protective face mask who guards a barricade placed on an empty street amid the lockdown to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Metro Manila, April 21, 2020.
(REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez / MANILA BULLETIN)

DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said the PNP should remain vigilant and not relax and rest on its laurel with the 61 percent crime rate drop and instead should maintain the strict implementation of quarantine protocols “as people might see the lifting of ECQ in some areas as an opportunity to go back to normal and begin committing crimes.”

He said the PNP’s steady implementation of peace and order protocols during the ECQ from March 17 to May 9 led to only 3,166 crimes committed nationwide.

He explained that the said number of crimes is a far cry from the 8,135 cases reported from January 23 to March 16, the days leading to the implementation of ECQ in Luzon.

“The 61% decrease in crime volume within March 17 – May 9, 2020 with a total of 3,166 must be maintained by the PNP even under GCQ,” Año said.

During the ECQ, Año said that theft remained the most common crime with 865 incidents but is still much lower compared to the data gathered during the earlier months prior to the ECQ which was 2,752.

He added that the same pattern applied to other crimes such as murder, homicide, physical injury, and rape.

The DILG noted that curfew violations and disobedience recorded 167,278 violators from March 17 to May 9.

Majority of these cases are from Luzon with 106,926, followed by Mindanao with 30,533, and Visayas with 29,819.

Año said that 105,445 or 63 percent of the total number of curfew violators were just warned while 28 percent or 47,257 were detained. Majority were released on bail after undergoing inquest proceedings while 14,576 or nine percent were fined.

He said he is sure that lawless elements will be back doing their criminal and law breaking ways when the GCQ takes effect.

He said these criminals will start their nefarious activities by going back to the streets and pretend to go to their places of lawful employment.

Año reminded the PNP and the military to be strict in manning the checkpoints and to do frequent patrol duties without compromising human rights.

He said the PNP checkpoints and the issuance of quarantine passes by LGUs will continue during the GCQ since people’s movements are still restricted. Only those working in permitted industries and accessing essential services are allowed to leave their homes.

Under the GCQ, Año explained that quarantine measures will still be imposed for persons below 21 years old, those who are 60 years old and above, the immuno-compromised, pregnant women, and people who reside with the aforementioned individuals.

However, Año said senior citizens who are working or will go out to access essential services will be exempted from the home quarantine.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/05/13/ano-challenges-pnp-to-maintain-ecq-crime-rate-drop-even-during-gcq/)

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