MANILA — Police Deputy Director General Leonardo A. Espina, officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police (PNP), reported on Tuesday a 32 percent decline in the number of murder and homicide cases in all the five police districts of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) during the past seven days.
The five districts covered by the NCRPO are the Manila Police District (MPD), Quezon City Police District (QCPD), Northern Police District (NPD), Southern Police District (SPD), and Eastern Police District (EPD).
According to Espina, the crime reduction was due to the PNP’s intensification of the campaign against loose firearms, illegal discharge of firearms, and campaign against criminal gangs and personalities supported by the aggressive implementation of “Oplan Lambat-Sibat” led by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
“This is the result of the effective and efficient implementation of increased checkpoints, mobile and beat/foot patrols, and intensified serving of arrest warrants, to include the deployment of police officers in densely populated areas, including malls, train stations and terminals, especially this Holy Week,” Espina said.
According to a report from the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM), 23 incidents in Metro Manila were recorded from March 16 to 22, 2015 as compared with the 34 incidents during the previous week (March 9–15).
With the continuous operation against criminal elements, the Eastern Police District recorded the highest decrease in these crimes from six incidents on the previous week to only one incident on the past week. EPD recorded the said incident in Marikina City.
EPD is followed by Quezon City Police District (QCPD) with a total of four incidents in the past week contrary to six incidents last March 9 to 15, 2015. QCPD recorded two incidents in Talipapa, one in Novaliches and one in Batasan Hills.
Manila Police District (MPD) also recorded a total of four incidents in the past week, down from six incidents last week (March 9 to 15).
Meanwhile, Espina has ordered the enhancement of security operations before, during and after the observance of the Lenten Season with the expected influx of people in churches, transport terminals and other public places.
The PNP has placed all police units in Luzon and the Visayas under heightened alert condition.
PNP regional directors in these areas are given the discretion to elevate the alert status of their offices/units depending on the developing and emerging situation in their respective areas of responsibility.
All six Mindanao-based police regional offices, meanwhile, remain under full alert condition in response to the prevailing security situation in those areas.
All PNP unit commanders have been reminded to maintain security in vital installations, economic key points as well as places of convergence and ensure high state of operational readiness to deter criminal activities and thwart any hostile actions that may be launched by threat groups.
For his part, Director Carmelo Valmoria, NCRPO chief, said the highest police alert status took effect last Saturday, adding that all police commanders in Metro Manila have already been informed of it.
Full alert status means all police personnel must be present, and that all leaves and days off should be cancelled.
“This is to ensure the safety and security of the people in Metro Manila during Holy Week,” said Valmoria.
With only limited personnel to man security in the NCR, Valmoria said they coordinated with local government units (LGUs) for force multipliers like traffic enforcers and barangay security forces.
Part of the coordination, according to him, is the guarding of residential areas as many people go to the provinces both to observe the Lenten season and enjoy the long Holy Week break.
Based on past incidents, cases of robbery, locally known as “akyat-bahay,” usually rise during long vacation as house owners usually go to the provinces for vacation.
The official said the security preparations are actually part of the security plan for the entire summer vacation.
The NCRPO chief also reminded vacationers to make sure their vehicles are in good running condition and observe the “BLOW” policy — check brakes, lights, oil, water, battery, air and gas as well as the vehicle’s engine and most of all, the tires, to avoid accidents.
The security measures, he said, will also be focused on bus terminals and seaports and airports in various areas in Metro Manila.
Among the big provincial bus terminal locations are in Pasay City and Cubao in Quezon City.
Valmoria reiterated his order to all district directors to continuously implement Summer Vacation (SUMVAC 2015) security plans while calling for vigilance and cooperation from the public.