MARTIAL law in Mindanao since May last year has proven to have a great impact on the peace and order situation in the region as evidenced by the 36.12 percent reduction of eight focus crimes except homicide in the Southern region, the Philippine National Police headed by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde told the Journal Group yesterday.
Comparative figures released by the PNP Directorate for Operations headed by Director Ma-o R. Aplasca showed that crimes in Mindanao significantly went down from May 2017 to August this year compared to the figures collated from January 2016 to April 2017.
The PNP-DO said that the total volume of eight focus crimes in Mindanao decreased by 36.12 percent during the comparative period or from 47,171 to only 28,218 crimes during the May 2017 to August 2018 period.
Overall, murder cases in the region went down by 39.83 percent or from 4,697 to 2,826; physical injury cases decreased by 27.78 percent or from 10,635 to 7,681; rape incidents went down by 11.44 percent or from 2,466 to 2,184; robbery cases decreased by 42.77 percent or from 7,319 to 4,189; theft incidents went down by 46.09 percent or from 15,101 to 8,141; vehicle theft decreased by 25 percent or from 88 to 66; and motorcycle theft went down by 43.22 percent or from 3,255 to 1,831 only.
However, cases of homicide in Mindanao increased by 103.13 during the comparative period or from 640 to 1,300.
The PNP leadership released the statistics in response to a request from Lanao del Norte (1t District) Representative Khalid Q. Dimaporo, the lawmaker who raised his concern on the impact of martial law when it comes to crime situation in Mindanao.
President Duterte last week elevated the burden of decision-making on the proposed extension of martial law in Mindanao from the PNP and the Armed Forces to the National Security Council composed of Cabinet officials and members of Congress.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said among the factors initially considered during the NSC meeting was the outlook of the people of Mindanao, an overwhelming majority of whom support martial law “in view of the present situation they are in.”
The President placed Mindanao under martial law on May 23, 2017 when ISIS-inspired Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists occupied Marawi City resulting in nearly five months of heavy fighting that left much of the city in ruins.
Congress granted Duterte’s request for martial law extension in December 2017. AFP chief of staff General Carlito G. Galvez Jr. said they are still assessing the situation in Mindanao before making any recommendation on the matter.
However, Gen. Albayalde had made it clear that the PNP will always support an extended martial law in Mindanao. “If it will help. If we think the President or the government is inclined to extend the martial law, we will support it,” the PNP chief said.
Gen. Albayalde also bared a significant 17.39 percent reduction in crime incidents from January to last September and expressed optimism the trend would be the same during the rest of the year as the 190,000-strong police force mounts an all-out campaign against criminality in time for the coming Christmas and New Year holidays.
The following are the figures: murder decreased by 29.54 percent; homicide went down by 9.47 percent; physical injury decreased by 33.80 percent; rape went down by 24.82 percent; robbery decreased by 34.40 percent; theft went down by 36.90 percent; car theft decreased by 36.30 percent; and theft of motorcycles went down by 26.61 percent.
Overall, the PNP chief said that the country’s Total Crime Volume decreased by 47,945 incidents or 17.39 percent from 275,702 in January to June 2017 to only 227,757 incidents during the same 6-month period of the current year.
He made it clear that the decrease in Crime Volume can be attributed to the 19,242 or 33.05 percent reduction in Index Crimes and 28,703 or 13.20 percent decrease among reported Non-Index Crimes.
Among Index crimes, the top three most prevalent crimes are theft, physical injury and robbery. But despite theft and physical injury registering the top two most prevalent crimes nationwide, both crime categories went down by 36.90 percent and 33.80 percent respectively, he said.