Palace calls rising criminality in PH 'unacceptable'

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2014 04:59 PM | Updated as of Jun 19 2014 12:59 AM

MANILA - Malacañang has expressed displeasure at the rising criminality in the country, calling it unacceptable.

This, despite assurances that President Benigno Aquino III is hands on when it comes to managing the law enforcement services of the government.

Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said the crime solution rate has already improved from 13 percent to 37 percent.

However, this could still be improved further.

"As far as we are concerned, that is not acceptable because this means that only one out of three crimes are being solved, and as you said, this means there are still opportunities. If citizens are aware that the crime will remain unsolved anyway, then this would really embolden criminals in committing their misdeeds. So we have to intensify our crime prevention and law enforcement efforts despite what the figures may be showing now," he said.

He also reiterated that there is no room for unsolved crimes.

"Para sa amin hindi katanggap-tanggap 'yon, kahit anong rate 'yon, dahil hindi naman 100 percent. Dapat talaga walang unsolved crime, ano. Dahil, halimbawa, pinatay 'yung tao, hindi naman natin matatanggap 'yung walang habas na pagpatay o 'yung kawalan ng respeto sa buhay ng ating mga mamamayan. So we are saying that we would like to be able to improve despite figures that say there are already improvements because unsolved crimes are not acceptable in our standards."

Coloma explained the Philippine National Police (PNP) does not need to be reminded of its duties. "Hindi naman nagbabago kasi 'yung realidad. Kinakailangan ay maramdaman nila 'yung sense urgency na kinakailangang gawin nila 'yung tungkulin nila sa pinakamahusay na paraan."

Coloma, meanwhile, reiterated that Aquino has taken it upon himself to oversee crime prevention efforts.

“Palagian namang minomonitor ang kanilang performance at meron din naman silang submission of regular and periodic reports. At ang ating Pangulo...is taking on a hands-on management style dahil madalas niyang kaugnayan ang mga pinuno ng Sandatahang Lakas at ng kapulisan. Hindi naman nagkukulang doon sa aspeto ng supervision," he said.

For now, Malacañang rules out the possibility of tapping the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in crime prevention efforts.

However, Coloma was non-committal when asked about suggestions from the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) to establish a modern prison system and mandate the wearing of vests with plate numbers for motorcycle riders.

The group reportedly cited the incidents of crime perpetrated by motorcycle-riding suspects.

"Hihintayin po natin ang pag-aaral na isasagawa ng tanggapan ng Executive Secretary hinggil diyan dahil 'yung bagay na 'yan ay naibigay na sa kanila para gumawa ng kaukulang rekomendasyon para sa ating Pangulo," he said.

The Palace official also gave no indication that Aquino will have a special meeting with the security cluster of the government just for the crime wave.

"Patuloy namang sinusubaybayan ang sitwasyon na 'yan at hindi naman sila naghihintay na sabihan pa ng Pangulo na gawan ng aksyon. Patuloy na sinusubaybayan yan ng security and law order council that has regular meetings of its own," Coloma said.

The government's security cluster is chaired by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.