Crime volume in Central Visayas drops by 60 percent during ECQ
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - May 21, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The crime volume in Central Visayas has dropped by at least 60 percent during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period.

Police Regional Office-7 director Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro said that from an average of 1,168 crime incidents prior to the ECQ, the volume has decreased to 660 cases from March 17 to May 19.

"I believe most of the regions, their crime also were going down," Ferro said

In Cebu City, Police Colonel Josefino Ligan, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) director, said that they have only recorded 125 crime incidents within the 63 days since the ECQ was implemented.

He said this is 265 cases less or 67.95 percent decrease from the average volume before the ECQ.

"Ang pinakataas na decrease ani is ang carnapping and motorcycle (theft) na mitala ug 93.3 decrease, misunod ang robbery nga mitala ug 88 percent, kung 47 less from 53 robbery incidents to only six incidents," Ligan said. 

Even ordinary cases of thefts were down from 200 cases to only 48 incidents or a decrease of 76 percent.

The maximum deployment of police and other security personnel to enforce border control was seen as the biggest factor in the decrease in crime volume.

Meanwhile, on the number of ECQ violators, Ligan said that the Cebu City government is proposing an ordinance that would already impose imprisonment to violators instead of the light consequences. 

Ligan said that first offenders should already be fined and detained instead of asking them to render certain hours of community service.

"Ang atong first time offender ana is supposedly diretso na ug fine ug imprisonment, dili natong community service or katong pa sayaw-sayaw or what,"Ligan said. 

He said it is important to give more teeth to the executive order of the mayor within the remaining days of the ECQ.

The city is still under ECQ until May 31 while the province is already transitioning to general community quarantine starting yesterday.

As of yesterday, there were 2,259 ECQ violators arrested in Cebu City, 1,644 of them were charged under regular filing while 622 underwent inquest proceedings. FPL (FREEMAN)

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