PNP: Crime rate down, but murder rate up

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 19 2016 09:32 PM | Updated as of Dec 19 2016 10:59 PM

Police inspect the bodies of two men lying on a sidewalk, who police said were killed after a drug buy-bust operation in Quezon City Sunday. Ezra Acayan, Reuters

The overall index crime rate went down but the murder rate soared during the first 5 months of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, according to latest figures from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The Presidential Communications Office, in a press release, said PNP figures showed the index crime volume declining to 55,391 from July-November this year, compared to 81,064 from July-November 2015, or a drop of 31.67 percent.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar claimed that this shows that the Philippines "is now a safer place".

The same PNP data, however, shows that murder cases went up 51.14 percent, from 3,950 in 2015 to 5,970 in the same period.

The PNP defines index crimes as against persons, such as murder, homicide, physical injury and rape, and crimes against property like robbery, theft, carnapping, and cattle rustling.

Crimes against property slid down 42.48 percent, from 52,075 last year to 29,953 this year, the PNP said. Crimes against persons, on the other hand, fell 12.25 percent from 28,989 to 24,438.

The PNP earlier reported a significant drop in the country's crime rate earlier this year, even before Duterte took office.

The PNP said the total crime volume decreased by 13% through the first and second quarters of 2016 -- from 52,950 crime incidents in January to 46,060 in June 2016.

According to Reuters, same PNP statistics show that serious crime was already in decline during the administration of Duterte's predecessor, President Benigno Aquino.

The police figures show that in the January-August period of 2015, serious crime was down 22 percent compared with the same period the previous year. In 2014, it declined 26 percent.

In contrast, the number of people being killed has risen since Duterte launched his anti-drug campaign.

A total of 5,882 people have been killed across the country since President Rodrigo Duterte launched his war on illegal drugs, PNP data showed.

Data culled by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group showed that 2,041 drug suspects were killed by police under "Project Double Barrel" from July 1 to December 6, 2016.

Meanwhile, 3,841 were "murdered outside police operations" from July 1 to November 30, according to the PNP.

The PNP said "deaths under investigation" are "murder cases outside police operations," regardless of the motive, that have yet to be "cleared or solved."