PNP: July crime rate down by 31 percent

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PNP top brass Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa says the decrease in the volume of crimes last month is owed to the administration's anti-drug campaign. (file photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Philippine National Police (PNP) said the crime rate in the country dipped 31 percent in July, compared to the same period last year.

During the second day of the Senate's hearing on alleged extrajudicial killings Tuesday, PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa reported "a very significant decrease" in rape incidents. Dela Rosa said there is also a "downward trend" in the so-called "focus crimes," including murder, homicide, robbery, theft, "carnaping" (car theft), "motornapping" (motor theft), and physical injuries.

A total of 11,800 crimes were reported in July 2016, lower than the 17,105 crimes listed in July 2015.

Dela Rosa considers this a sign that the administration's anti-drug campaign, dubbed as "Oplan Double Barrel," is a success. That campaign began on July 1.

"The campaign's significant gains in the following aspects cannot be discounted: the disclosure of true picture of the country's drug problem; the voluntary surrender of drug personalities to the authorities through the persuasive efforts of the PNP; and the no let-up police operations and arrest of drug personalities resulted in the reduction of crime incidents," Dela Rosa said.

'More surrenders than killed'

Oplan Double Barrel has a two-pronged approach: Project Tokhang and Project HVT.

In Project Tokhang, the police conduct house-to-house visitations "to persuade suspected illegal drug personalities to stop their involvement in drugs," while Project HVT involves a "massive and reinvigorated conduct of anti-illegal drugs operations targeting drug lords and drug syndicates."

After seven weeks, Dela Rosa said 673,978 drug personalities have surrendered and appeared before police stations for processing. A total of 11,784 users and pushers were arrested, while 756 were killed during police operations.

Dela Rosa said these figures show that there are more drug personalities who surrender than those killed during operations.

"Contrary to the perception of some sectors of the society, the police operations in Double Barrel would show that the focus is really on the Project Tokhang," he said. "The pie chart clearly indicates the greater volume of surrenderers than the number of the arrested and killed drug personalities."

However, the PNP chief lamented, some local government officials are "unsupportive and uncooperative" with the PNP's anti-drug operations.

"The huge number of surrenderers exposed the unpreparedness of the LGUs to process these drug personalities especially in the rehabilitation and to include its lack of corresponding budget.

"The PNP's relentless campaign against illegal drugs continues to gain momentum, given the full support of the government and communities, as manifested by the number of surrenderers," he said.

Meanwhile, Dela Rosa said "high value target" Mico Tan was killed during police operations under Project HVT, while 32 were arrested, nine of which are Chinese nationals.

Data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) show there are 11,321 out of 30,715 barangays nationwide considered "drug-affected."

Police vs. drugs

Members of the police are not spared from the administration's war on drugs.

"The campaign plan Double Barrel is also giving a more focused direction on our internal cleansing as we rid our organization of personnel who are part of the drug problem," Dela Rosa said.

The PNP top brass said 130 policemen tested "positive" in the random drug test of PNP personnel.

Meanwhile, there are 301 policemen under the Counter Intelligence Watchlist: 20 were arrested, six have been administratively charged, seven face criminal charges, and 11 were killed in police operations.

A total of 284 PNP personnel "believed to be involved in illegal drugs" have been transferred to new assignments.

'Death under investigation'

The national police is also monitoring personalities who died outside of police operations.

To date, Dela Rosa said there are already a total of 1,160 individuals who were killed, identified as Death Under Investigation (DUI).

The deaths of two PNP personnel, eight members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), 29 elected government officials, 10 government employees, and 1,111 civilians whose deaths are still under investigation.

Meanwhile, a total of 212 cadavers were found, "80 of which are with 'karatula' (sign board) and 23 were hogtied."