ANGELES City has been cited by the Philippine National Police as the 5th most peaceful city in the country.

This completely reversed its erroneous report listing Angeles among the top five cities with highest crime and drug cases.

In its statement correcting an earlier report, the PNP listed Angeles City as among the top five cities with the lowest crime rate at 27.10, after Davao City’s 25.96 percent.

The top 3 cities with the lowest crime rates are Ormoc in Leyte, Cotabato in Maguindanao and Puerto Princesa in Palawan.

"I am relieved that the PNP immediately corrected itself, because figures of the local police say otherwise. According to ground reports collated by PNP-Angeles, our city in fact had lesser crime and drug cases compared to previous years," said Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.

Citing police reports, he said all index crimes reduced from 1,019 cases in 2016 to 795 cases in 2017, and to 324 cases in July 2018. From July 2017 to July 2018, murder was down by 22.22 percent during and robbery by 31.45 percent.

Drug related cases and arrests were also declining, according to him, from 322 cases filed and 517 arrests in 2016 to 159 cases and 283 arrests made from January to July 2018.

He also said that there have been no major drug busts since the discovery of an alleged suspected and abandoned drug laboratory in Barangay Pampang in 2016.

"There were attempts to smuggle drugs through the Clark International Airport that were intercepted. But Clark is not Angeles City. It is an autonomous freeport zone," Pamintuan said. "And as far as I know Clark authorities are in full cooperation in guarding against the entry of drugs through the airport," he added.

According to him, Angeles City has been cited for three consecutive years as the best City Police Office (CPO) on the Regional level and among the top three best CPO on the national level for 2018, by the PNP itself.

"We should, in fact, congratulate our local police and barangay officials for being more vigilant against crime and illegal drugs," he said.

He also said Angeles City has been consistently cited by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the PNP itself for its anti-drug programs. (PR)