CRIME incidents by motorcycle-riding perpetrators dropped by 57 percent in the last seven months, as the government strictly implemented security and health safety measures against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy chief for administration, said such incidents went down to 784 cases during the 220-day community quarantine from the 1,846 cases before the quarantine.
He said Mindanao recorded the biggest decline of 63 percent to 193 from 515 cases, followed by the Visayas with 60 percent to 189 from 485 cases, and Luzon with 53 percent, or 402 from 864 cases.
In Metro Manila, there was a 45 percent reduction to 160 from 291 cases.
“In the past, motorcycle-riding criminals were a big peace and order headache. But we were able to counter their illegal activities in the past four years especially in the past seven months,” said Eleazar.
He said crimes by motorcyle-riding perpetrators went down to an average of eight cases nationwide just before the quarantine and further decreased to four during the quarantine.
“So there was really a significant improvement not only in illegal activities of motorcycle-riding suspects but also (in) the peace and order situation nationwide,” Eleazar said.
PNP data show a 46 percent reduction in the eight focus crimes during the period March 17 to October 22, 2020 compared to the period August 10, 2019 to March 16, 2020.
The eight focus crimes are murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft, carnapping of motorcycles and carnapping of motor vehicles. These serve as the barometer of the peace and order situation.
For cases of murder involving motorcycle-riding suspects (MRS), Eleazar said there was a 41 percent reduction to 300 from 505 cases.
Homicide cases by MRS went down by 48 percent to 13 from 25 cases.
Robbery by MRS plunged by 76 percent to 143 from 584 cases while theft dived 74 percent to 58 from 227 cases.
“For more than seven months, these criminal elements were also forced to quarantine. But with the easing of restrictions and as more people were allowed to go out, they were given the opportunity again but these incidents are still low. However, we are not putting our guard down and we will continue to implement strategies to run after them and deny them the opportunity to strike,” Eleazar said.
Meanwhile, in response to the order of President Rodrigo Duterte, PNP Chief Camilo Cascolan has already ordered the training of more policemen in motorcycle riding as part of anti-criminality measures.
Police Brigadier General Alexander Tagum, director of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG), said 43 personnel of the PNP’s elite Special Action Force (SAF) have already been trained on tactical motorcycle riding.
Tagum said the HPG training program on motorcycle riding will accommodate more SAF personnel and would also include local police forces.
“These are but the aggressive measures that we are doing to maintain the biggest decline in criminal activities that we have been achieving for more than seven months now. And we will not allow motorcycle-riding criminals and all the criminal elements to normalize their illegal activities,” said Eleazar. (SunStar Philippines)