MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) Director-General Alan Purisima continues to enjoy the trust and confidence of President Benigno Aquino III despite the highly-publicized incident in EDSA where several armed men flagged down and allegedly took away the passenger of a sports utility vehicle (SUV).
Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Purisima even attended Wednesday's meeting with Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas, representatives of concerned citizens' group, including Teresita Ang See, where concerns on rising criminality raised by the Filipino-Chinese community was discussed.
"Patuloy ang tiwala ng Pangulo sa kanya," said Coloma.
Coloma said the PNP is exerting all efforts to crack down on the criminal elements behind kidnap-for-ransom cases.
Quoting data from the PNP, Coloma said the reported number of kidnap-for-ransom cases as of August this year rose slightly to 38 from 31 during the same period last year.
He said the increase in the number of cases of kidnapping is what the PNP is working on now in terms of intensified police efforts.
However, he did not elaborate on the details of the meeting, other than the overall thrust of the meeting, which was to address the concern of the Filipino-Chinese community and other civil society groups that these incidents or crimes must be stopped immediately.
"Dapat siguro ay paigtingin [ng PNP] 'yung kanilang mga intelligence at surveillance efforts dahil 'yung iba namang nagsasagawa nito ay associated sa mga criminal syndicate at meron naman silang impormasyon hinggil sa galaw ng mga sindikatong ito," said Coloma.
Coloma does not subscribe to the concern that the increase in criminality is because the country does not impose the death penalty.
"Ang palaging ipinapahayag ng Pangulo at ine-emphasize hinggil diyan ay ito: Dapat ay may kasiguruhan na ang mga hinuhuli at isinasakdal ay mapaparusahan. Dapat may kasiguruhan na pangangalagaan ng pamahalaan ang kaligtasan at kapakanan ng mga mamamayan," said Coloma.
He maintains that there is a continuing effort of the government and the law enforcement authorities to instill respect for the law.
Malacanang is not bothered that the rise in criminality might affect efforts of the Aquino administration to attract investments in the country.
Aquino, meanwhile, is set to embark next week on a four-nation visit to Europe (Spain, Belgium, France and Germany) before heading to United States to speak on climate change at the United Nations in New York.
"The President can face the world with a clear view that the Philippines is safe for investors, the Philippines is safe for its citizens. Hindi kinakailangang magpinta tayo ng larawan ng ligalig dahil ang sitwasyon naman ay masasabi nating stable. The crime situation is well under the control of the police authorities. Kaya hindi dapat lumikha ng ligalig hinggil diyan," said Coloma.