PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III defended the Philippine National Police (PNP) amid criticisms due to rising number of crimes, including high-profile killings.

In an interview with the members of the Philippine media who joined him in Japan on Tuesday, the President said that while there are concerns the way the police do their jobs, there are also many achievements.

"Palagay ko parang marami namang pwedeng iturong achievements ang ating kapulisan," he said.

He cited the recent arrest in Paranaque City of an Abu Sayyaf member, who was also on the wanted list of the United States.

In the case of slain Mayor Ernesto Balolong in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan, and hotel owner Richard King, he said that suspects were already nabbed and police have been developing good cases against the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, the PNP was developing good leads against those who killed car racer Ferdinand Pastor, who was ambushed recently in Quezon City.

"Hindi ko style na magsasabi sa inyo 'expect good results in a day or two'," Aquino said.

"'Yung sensational na crimes, 'di ba, at 'yung maski hindi sensational, talagang maraming naso-solve. At ngayon, 'pag sinabing solved, hindi 'yung may suspect na na-identify; may theory kung ano ang nangyari, ano 'yung krimen. Ngayon, may suspect na nahuli; may eyewitnesses na magpapatibay ng kaso; forensics, kumpleto; at pinapatibay natin ‘yung kaso para makulong na nga itong mga dating hindi man lang nasasampahan ng kaso... 'yung iba natatagalan, 'yung iba mabilisan," he explained.

He also attributed the high number of crimes reported on the effort to get the statistics from the precinct level.

But the President again acknowledged the need to increase the number of policemen patrolling the streets.

He said reforms are ongoing in the country's law enforcement system as well as in the military to ensure the security of the public.

The PNP is training 15,000 policemen who were previously tied up with clerical works especially in Camp Crame. Office works will be filled by civilian employees, Aquino said.

The government is also working to fix problems in the police and military's pension, which have been the major stumbling block in government hiring more policemen and soldiers, he said.

One of the laws on pension reforms is now in Congress, he said.

There is a need to increase the number of policemen to effectively fight crime. He said that since the 1986 Edsa People Power revolt, the total number of policemen and soldiers was at 250,000 and that figure has not changed until today.

To make communities safer, the ideal policeman to civilian ratio is 1 (policeman) to 500 (civilian), he said.

There is also massive funding for both the police and the military, he said, which is called "shoot, scoot, and communicate".

The government is investing on transportation equipment like motorcycles, vans, trucks, as well as communication systems for both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the PNP for them to be more effective.

The police is also regularly conducting checkpoints and stepping up their operations against unlicensed firearms, he said. (SDR/Sunnex)