Crime rate in Central Visayas drops by 60%
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo, Romeo Marantal (The Freeman) - March 23, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The crime rate in Central Visayas has dropped by almost 60 percent, and the authorities are looking at the imposition of the Community Quarantine as among the factors.

Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 Director Albert Ignatius Ferro, in a press briefing last Friday, said that the crime rate has dropped by 60 percent compared to the same period recorded last year.

According to Ferro, this was not because of the declaration of the community quarantine alone but also a combination of the police operations alongside with the implementation of the curfew.

“This is not because of the COVID issue, this is because of the enhanced managing police operation of the police. We have doubled, or maybe tripled, we have a good score on the anti-illegal drugs, anti-illegal gambling, loose firearms, so I think those are contributory to lessen the crime rate here,” he said.

Ferro added that the specific crimes that have declined include theft cases that went down by 79 percent, physical injury by 64 percent, robbery cases that went down by 60 percent and rape cases that dropped by 66 percent while there were no incident at all recorded for carnapping.

It was previously reported that there was also a decline by 50 percent in the crime rate recorded in Cebu City alone right after the declaration  of the Community Quarantine and the implementation of the curfew.

Former Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Engelbert Soriano said that eight focused crimes, particularly on theft and robbery cases, have dropped.

At present, heightened police visibility of the PRO-7 cops will continue to combat COVID-19 alongside with the operations against all forms of criminality.

Meanwhile, the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Pardo Police Station headed by Police Major John Kareen Escober nabbed a high value target at 11:15 p.m. last Saturday at Sitio Bamboo, Barangay Inayawan, Cebu City.

The police identified the target as Ricky “Iking” Ocariza Legazpi, 32, a resident of the area.

Escober said that Legazpi is in the drug watchlist-city level.

Seized from Legazpi’s possession include suspected shabu weighing about 50 grams and valued at P340,000.

Cases for violation of Sec.5 and Sec. 11 Art. 2 of RA 9165 will be filed against Legazpi, who is currently detained at the Pardo Police Station.  GAN (FREEMAN)

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