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Objective look at Philippine crime rate

Minus the hysterics that usually mark the rants of dedicated critics, it would look like the country has become safer after all.

Crime rates are down based on most indexes. Even the harshest online media critic of the Duterte Administration – surprisingly – appears to recognize this fact and had even reported about it. It is, therefore, baffling why some quarters would paint a grim picture of the crime scene in the country.

We can only surmise that this effort could be part of a bid to drive visitors away or to ensure that current Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Police Director-General Ronaldo “Bato” dela Rosa would not leave a sterling legacy to the organization.

Just before the end of last year, the said online news organization actually went out of its way to do a full report on crime rate in the country.

The said media outfit pointed out that criminality in the Philippines dropped by nearly 22 percent in 2017, the first full year of the Duterte administration and of the PNP under Dela Rosa’s watch.

The drop covers crimes against persons and property – the type that keep people off the streets. This significant decrease must have been the basis of the statement made by many last year that they felt “safer” even when outside their homes.

According to the said report, murder cases fell by 20.6 percent; physical injuries resulting from assaults, by 11 plus percent; robbery, by 23.6 percent; thefts, by almost 33 percent; carnapping of motor vehicles, by 35.5 percent; and, carnapping of motorcycles, by 31.2 percent.

Even the incidence of rape had a major drop: 12 percent. It achievement must have been so significant that the online media outfit went out of its way to dispute Dela Rosa’s own assessment.

We quote from the online media outfit’s report:

“Contrary to the claim of Director-General Dela Rosa that rape incidents rose when the PNP was taken out of the drug war, data showed the sexual crime sliding down between October and November.”

The online media outfit also noted that the incidence of murder cases last year was “a two-year low”.

The only type of criminal offense which marked an increase was homicide. This has to be put in proper perspective. In contrast to murder, homicide is not premeditated.

Death resulting from homicide may have been the consequence of tempers going out of hand, of rivalries, and of modern-day duels. This is not something planned against a citizen walking the streets of his neighborhood.

It looks like when the bases are objective facts, Duterte and Dela Rosa on track on the promises they made regarding the fight against crime.

Take away the hysteria that usually mark social media discussions on peace and order, one can see the picture of a “safer” Philippines.

If the controversial online media outfit’s report is accurate, then PNP’s Dela Rosa may have succeeded in doing two things: preempting and preventing crimes.

When it comes to preventing crimes, it appears “fear” on the part of would-be offenders is a good deterrent.

Here’s what a study done by the US National Institute of Justice (NIJ) says:

“The certainty of being caught is a vastly more powerful deterrent than the punishment.”

“Police deter crime by increasing the perception that criminals will be caught and punished,” the NIJ adds.

PNP’s Dela Rosa must have succeeded in instilling fear on the part of potential offenders – both the fear of being caught and that of being punished. They must have believed that both are unpalatable when done and meted out by the current PNP leadership.

The bottom-line here is credibility. Dela Rosa may have a good number of dedicated bashers and haters, but one thing is sure: he is believed.

Regardless of accusations thrown his way, it looks like his credibility is intact. Whether one likes him or not, one has to admit that Dela Rosa’s word can be counted on and that he can be trusted to do what he says he will.

This is important in the fight against criminality.

There is only one language that criminals understand: the language of fear.

Finally, there is one PNP leader that whom these criminal elements believe.

Finally, fear is in the hearts of the criminal elements and not on the part of the peace-loving citizen.

Even the government’s harshest online media critic has admitted that.


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