Sunday, 13 January 2008

Nationwide Crime Rate Down By 40% In 2007

Mike Cohen, Pacific News Center Correspondent
Original report at Pacific News Center International

Manila, Philippines - The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that the crime rate in the Philippines dropped by 40 percent in 2007.

PNP Director General Avelino submitted a formal report on the crime rate in the Philippines to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The news was welcomed by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. "There is much to celebrate today, especially the big decrease in crimes in the past year, not only in Manila, but also nationwide," said Arroyo during the 107th founding anniversary of the Manila Police District (MPD) at its headquarters along United Nations Ave. in Manila.

"Congratulations to the Manila police and congratulations to the police throughout the country," she added.

The President also thanked Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim for the 60 new vehicles that the city government donated recently to the MPD, formerly the Western Police District (WPD).

Prior to entering politics, Lim was Manila's chief of police, and later head of the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). He was already a senator when he decided to run for mayor in last year's local and senatorial elections.

The President also thanked Lim for his commitment to protect her presidency in the face of renewed destabilization moves last year.

"Mayor Lim is a man of his word, and he has supported law and order and refused to allow destabilization to threaten democracy in Manila during his term – his commitment to the law and democratic process shows he is a good leader of Manila," said the President.

Meanwhile, the President ordered Razon to include the MPD in the PNP's housing program, and to build the proposed units for MPD members behind its main headquarters on UN Ave.

She also urged MPD head Chief Superintendent Roberto Rosales to continue his campaign against illegal drugs and warring gangs in the city.

Rosales, who is known for his successful campaign against illegal drugs as provincial PNP chief in Quezon province, is celebrating his first year as MPD head. Some of the largest drug busts and drug-related arrests in Philippine history happened during Rosales' tenure as PNP chief of Quezon Province.

The President recalled in her 2003 State of the Nation Address (SONA) that she paid a special tribute to Rosales for turning down a P35-million bribe from drug syndicates operating in Quezon.

"Now, I count on Rosales to move aggressively against drug syndicates in Manila, and the gang wars disturbing the neighborhoods," said Arroyo.

Gang violence has risen to alarming levels, as some of the street gang have ties to foreign-based branches of organized crime groups that are linked to international crime syndicates. Gang wars, have led to deaths and increased drug use in urban areas.

Also present during the anniversary ceremonies were Public Works and Highways Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, a former PNP chief and former secretary of National Defense; National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director

Geary Barias; Manila Representatives Amado Bagatsing and Grace Bonoan; and Manila Bulletin Chairman Emilio Yap who donated P500,000 to the MPD social fund.

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