Purisima orders reporting system validated for lapses
National police Director Alan Purisima on Thursday admitted that there was indeed a crime surge in 2013, but could not explain the root of the problem.
He also failed to give a ‘comprehensive’ policy that would address the crime surge, and instead ordered an all-out validation of crime reporting, as he insisted that there were more crimes committed that were inaccurately reported.
But lawmakers continue to press on the resignation of Purisima and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas as well, for their alleged ‘poor handling’ of the peace and order situation in the country.
The lawmakers also took to task President Benigno Aquino III, which they said is focusing on crimes involving personalities, while neglecting the day to day criminality, adding that the “buck stops with the president.”
The mounting calls for Purisima and Roxas to resign started after Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza asked both officials to quit, as he cited data that more than a million – or 1,033,833 crimes -- were committed in 2013.
Of this total, Metro Manila topped all regions with 240.644 incidents, while Calabarzon had the least incidentsd at 58.145.
Carnapping topped the crimes committed in 2013 (11.326), followed by theft, (146,563) robbery,(52,528)murder (9,072) and rape (7,409)
The figure, which was culled from the PNP-Directorate of Investigation and Management, is almost five times the 217,812 crimes which the PNP reported to the Senate, which was used for a criminality summary done by the Senate Economic Planning Office for the use of senators.
The Senate summary said that “there was a steady drop in crime rates from 108 per 100,000 people in 2002 to 69 in 2007. It slightly increased the following year to 75 but took a large jump to 552 in 2009, due to changes in the crime reporting system of the PNP.’
Purisima, however, insisted that they had already instituted policies to improve the delivery of service.
“But changes and improvements in the PNP would not happen overnight,” he explained in press conference held Thursday.
Purisima said the policies were aimed at encouraging victims to report the crimes committed against them and help the police prevent similar offenses from happening in the future.
The PNP chief admitted that while there were rampant cases of killing in the previous year, most of them were ‘crimes of passion’ triggered by personal motives.
He also dismissed reports that robbery and kidnapping are again on the rise.
Purisima, however, vowed to improve crime solution. “We must improve not only on crime solution, but we have to come up with programs to attain higher conviction rates.”
He also underscored the need to monitor areas considered prevalent to crimes along with correct reporting of crimes in order to deter future crimes from occurring.
He said that drastic reforms on investigation of crimes should be a paramount concern.
“That is also one of the major changes na gagawin natin sa pnp. Yung investigation will be at a distinct part of the PNP na kung ikaw nagiimbestiga ng isang kaso, hawak mo yun at isosolve mo,” Purisima said.
He also dismissed the perception of worsening crimes, saying that the people do not see the real statistics.
“We cannot compare last year’s statistics to the other’s year’s statistics kasi magkaiba yung parameters. Last year’s
statistics include barangay cases, involving abuse of women and children and other petty crimes.
He added that seven out of 10 victims of crimes do not report their ordeal to the police, making it difficult for the police to totally stop crimes.
Purisima said he is satisfied with the performance of the 150,000-strong force since he took over the helm of the PNP in December 2012.
Purisima’s explanations, however, did not stop the lawmakers from pressing on the resignation of Purisima and Roxas and the criticisms against the president.
“DILG Secretary Roxas should be held accountable for the breakdown in peace and order in the country. In fact, accountability should go all the way up to the President,” said Rep. Luz Ilagan.
She added that the DILG’s ‘ineptitude’ is reflective of Secretary Roxa’s’ inability to mobilize law and order authorities.
“Worse and definitely alarming are the cases where the police themselves are the alleged culprits. How can Roxas ignore this?” Ilagan asked. “If he continues to ‘un-perform’, then he should resign or the President should fire him.”
Abakaa partylist Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, meanwhile, insisted that Aquino President should assume more pro-active role to address the worsening peace and order situation.
“President Aquino should be hands on and involved in a total anti-crime campaign, even the resignation of Sec. Roxas if ever will not mean much,” Dela Cruz added.
Reps. Carlos Zarate of party-list Bayan Muna and Silvestre Bello III of 1-BAP party-list also lamented the crime surge under the Aquino administration.
“Ironically sad, even pathetic, that authorities are more concerned with sensational crimes involving celebrities while day in day out crimes are also perpetrated against ordinary Filipinos but never get attention or get solve except, if at all, for the perfunctory recording in the police blotter,” Zarate said.
Reps. Rodolfo Albano III of Isabela, John Jorge Banal Jr. of Quezon City, Gus Tambunting of Paranaque and Rodel Batocabe of Ako-Bicol party-list, on the other hand, said that the resignation of Roxas and Purisima would not solve the problem. With Joyce Pangco Pañares, Florante S. Solmerin and Maricel V. Cruz