Crime in 2016: War on drugs, killings, road rage


Posted at Dec 31 2016 06:30 PM

2016 was a year of crimes and a violent crackdown on illegal drugs launched by the new administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

While the Philippine National Police said the total volume of index crimes dropped, the murder rate rose by more than 50% after Duterte took office.

Here are the biggest crime stories in the year that was.

1. Drug bloodbath

President Rodrigo Duterte was swept to power last May on the back of an anti-crime campaign that promised to kill thousands of drug traffickers and other criminals. The 71-year-old leader has made good on his vow so far.

Over 2,600 suspected drug suspects were killed between May 10 and December 13, or just six months into Duterte's victory in the presidential election, an independent tally by ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group shows.

Some 60 percent of the fatalities were killed in police operations, while 37 percent died in alleged vigilante attacks. The rest were found away from the crime scene, with their bodies often wrapped in packing tape and bearing signs of torture.

Photo by Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News

2. Davao blast

Fifteen people were killed and at least 70 others were hurt when an improvised explosive device ripped through the parked Roxas Night Market in Davao City on September 2.

President Duterte, a former longtime mayor of Davao, declared a state of lawlessness over the bombing that has been linked to Maute terrorists who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

Maute fighters have since laid siege to Butig town in Lanao del Sur, ambushed an advance party of Duterte and masterminded a foiled bomb attack on Luneta Park and Roxas Boulevard in Manila.

Photo: Reuters

3. Molesting the dead

Authorities arrested a man in Mati, Davao Oriental for allegedly sexually abusing the newly buried remains of his neighbor who died of cancer in November.

Local officials believe that the suspect has a mental illness.

He was later released after the alleged victim's relatives did not file charges against him.

4. Toddler's sexual abuse

A three-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her stepfather in front of her paralyzed mother in Calabanga, Camarines Sur.

The toddler's five-month-old sibling also died from alleged neglect by the suspect.

The suspect with rape with homicide and was detained at the Tinangis Penal Farm.

5. Quiapo road rage

CCTV footage captured the fatal July shooting of cyclist Mark Geralde after a fistfight with a fellow motorist on P. Casal Street in Quiapo, Manila.

A stray bullet from the road rage incident wounded a teenage orphan.

Police later identified the shooter as Vhon Tanto, a former Army reservist. He was arrested after days of hiding in Milagros, Masbate.

Photo by Nikon Celis, ABS-CBN News

6. HPG men kill motorist

Officers of the police Highway Patrol Group shot dead a motorcycle rider accosted for a traffic violation after he allegedly attempted to grab their gun at EDSA-Estrella intersection in Makati, July 29.

But the motorist, 27-year old John dela Riarte, allegedly had his hands handcuffed behind his back when he was shot five times inside a police mobile.

A video also showed policemen punching Dela Riarte moments before he was killed.

7. Armed men storm child actress' home

The parents of a child actress were wounded after armed robbers stormed their home in San Pablo, Laguna last July.

The actress' father slipped past the intruders, grabbed a gun, and exchanged fire with the robbers.

The suspects were later arrested.

8. Party over: 5 die in Pasay concert

Five people died after attending an open-air concert at SM Mall of Asia in Pasay, May.

An autopsy earlier showed the five fatalities of the the Forever Summer event died of massive heart attack due to high blood pressure, kidney failure and dehydration -- all consistent with the effects of drug overdose.

Witnesses also claimed that drug peddlers mingled with crowd during the concert.

9. The fall of Mayor Espinosa

Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. of Albuera, Leyte was shot dead after an alleged "firefight" with policemen serving a search warrant in his jail cell last November.

The NBI later reported that Espinosa died in a "rubout" and that the raiding party from Region 8's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) "showed a community of purpose or an implied conspiracy."

President Duterte has vowed that the killers of Espinosa won't go to jail, but Malacañang later clarified that he will not interfere with the legal proceedings against the CIDG men.

10. Huwag Tularan': Alleged Ninja Cop found dead

A policeman being linked to the drug trade was found dead with his hands, feet, and mouth tied in Barangay Ubihan, Meycauayan in Bulacan, July.

A cardboard saying "Pulis na pusher, wag tularan," was left beside the body of PO3 Michael Lee Malalad who was wearing his full police uniform.

President Duterte himself has said there are "ninja cops" who coddle the narcotics trade and recycle drugs seized from legitimate operations.

11. Burying Jaguar

A large party of mourners turned out for the funeral of alleged top drug trafficker Jeffrey "Jaguar" Diaz in Cebu City, June.

Diaz and his bodyguard were killed "as they were roaming around his eight safe houses" in Las Piñas City last June 17, according to Cebu City Tomas Osmeña.

Osmeña said Diaz's death in an alleged shootout disproved claims that he has retired from the drug trade.

12. Night commute turns to sexual attack

The driver of a colorum UV Express shuttle and his cohort allegedly raped two women inside his van in Quezon City last June.

The two men allegedly declared a hold-up in Batasan Hills before alternately molesting the women as the van drove around in Caloocan and Bulacan.

The van driver Wilfredo Lorenzo was arrested while the second suspect was shot dead after allegedly trying to escape from arresting police officers.