MANILA, Philippines – More murder cases were recorded in the first three years and three months of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte than in the same period before his predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, ended his term.
This is according to data gathered by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
The data was presented on Monday by Col. Ramon Pranada, chief of the Regional Operations Division of the NCRPO, during the meeting of the Metro Manila Regional Peace and Order Council in Pasig City.
NCRPO data showed there were 4,295 murder incidents from July 1, 2016 – a day after President Duterte took his oath of office – until Sept. 26, 2019. This is 60% higher than the 2,682 incidents recorded from April 2013 until June 2016 under the administration of Aquino. Both periods cover 39 months.
NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar attributed the increase to the surge in murder cases in the first six months of President Duterte’s term, which he blamed mostly on drug syndicates allegedly purging their own.
“We have reports and information that they were the ones killing each other. And even scalawag police personnel, they themselves were involved here),” he said, speaking partly in Filipino, in an interview with reporters.
Eleazar explained that murder cases started to constantly dip in 2017, but the high figures from Duterte’s first months in office had already placed a bulk to the large number.
Data from the NCRPO showed there were 1,144 murder cases for January to September in 2016 and 1,295 for the same months in 2017. There were 592 murders in 2018 and 458 in 2019, also covering the months of January to September.
But even as murders soared, the data also showed that the total crime incidents in Metro Manila have decreased by 62% — from 131,839 under the time of Aquino to 49,835 under the Duterte administration.
Specifically, crimes against persons — which include homicide, physical injury, and rape — went down by 49% from 35,836 during Aquino’s time to 18,184 under President Duterte.
Meanwhile, crimes against properties — such as robbery, theft, and carnapping — also went down from 96,003 under the Aquino administration to 31,651 under the Duterte administration, which is a decrease of 67%.
Eleazar attributed the lower crime volume to the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs and to the strict enforcement of city ordinances.
“Most of the crimes being committed are associated or are with the involvement of illegal drugs. That’s where we focused,” he said.