Following a 61% reduction of crime incidents during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to maintain consistency and vigilance in the enforcement of the law as a vast portion of the country will now transition to general community quarantine (GCQ) on May 16, 2020.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said that the PNP should not relax despite the 61% decrease of crimes, but on the contrary, continue its strict implementation of quarantine protocols “as people might see the lifting of ECQ in some areas as an opportunity to go back to normal and begin committing crimes.”
“Tiyak na babalik muli ang mga kriminal pag GCQ na dahil magpapanggap sila na papasok kuno sa trabaho kaya paalala ko sa ating kapulisan na maghigpit sa mga checkpoints at dalasan ang pagroronda para masawata ang mga kawatan,” he said.
He said that the presence of checkpoints by the PNP and the issuance of Quarantine Passes by LGUs will continue during the GCQ because movement is still limited and only those allowed to work in permitted industries and accessing essential services are allowed to go out.
Under the GCQ, quarantine measures will still be imposed for persons below 21 years old; persons 60 years old and above; persons who are immunocompromised; pregnant women; and people who reside with the aforementioned individuals. However, seniors who are working or will go out to access essential services will be exempt from the home quarantine.
“Mas matindi ang inaasahang pagpapairal ng batas sa panahon ng GCQ dahil nariyan pa rin ang banta ng coronavirus at samahan pa ng mga masasamang-loob na wala rin namang pinipiling panahon at krisis. So, use of face masks and social distancing in public must be observed, ” he explained.
Año said that the PNP’s steady implementation of peace and order protocols during the ECQ from March 17 – May 9, 2020 led to only 3,166 crimes committed nationwide. He says that the said number of crimes is a far cry from the 8,135 cases reported within January 23 – March 16, 2020 - the days leading to the implementation of ECQ in Luzon.
“The 61% decrease in crime volume within March 17 – May 9, 2020 with a total of 3,166 must be maintained by the PNP even under GCQ,” he added.
During the ECQ, theft still has the most cases with 865 incidents but still much lower compared to the data gathered during the earlier months prior to the ECQ which is 2,752. The same pattern applied to other crimes such as murder, homicide, physical injury, and rape, among others.
Meanwhile, curfew violations and disobedience tallied a total of 167,278 violators from March 17 – May 9, 2020. Majority of these cases are from Luzon with 106,926 followed by Mindanao 30,533 and Visayas with 29,819.
The DILG Chief said that 105,445 or 63% of the total number of curfew violators were just warned while 28% or 47,257 were detained but majority were released on bail after being inquested, and 14,576 or 9% were fined.