CAMP CRAME ,Quezon City - Police operatives seized over P521 million worth of illegal drugs over the first five weeks of 2023, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., bared Monday.
Azurin said the PNP's anti-illegal drugs campaign over the first five weeks of 2023 resuled to the arrest of 8,183 drug offenders in 6,044 police operations and confiscation of illegal drugs worth P521.9-million from January 1 to February 11, 2023.
He said that over the same five-week period, a significant 17.15 percent decrease was noted in peace and order indicators, including a 22.33 percent decline in index crime, and a 22.50 percent decrease in the eight focus crimes.
A total of 19,342 focus crimes were reported this year lower than 23,345 cases from Jan. 1 to Feb. 10, 2022.
Focus or index crimes are considered serious crimes while non-index crimes are violations of local ordinances and laws and road crashes.
The eight focus crimes or index crimes include theft, physical injury, rape, robbery, murder, homicide, motorcycle theft and vehicle theft.
Among the eight focus crimes, carnapping of motor vehicles, physical injury, and rape posted the highest rates of decline at 62.2 percent, 45.2 percent, and 40.8 percent, respectively.
“The PNP is addressing all these law enforcement and public safety concerns while continuously implementing our internal house-cleaning responsibility as accountable public officials,” said Azurin, who just came from a seven-day official mission in Abu Dhabi as head of the Philippine delegation to the 24th Asian Regional Conference of INTERPOL.
Meanwhile, Azurin said a member of the Interpol Executive Committee, in the person of Director General Hu Binchen of the International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Public Security of China, paid a courtesy visit at the PNP National Headquarters on Sunday to touch base with Philippine counterparts to strengthen ties between our agencies against all forms of transnational crime.
He said the PNP has just reinforced its international standing among 195-Interpol member national police agencies that share a common understanding, knowledge, expertise, and best practices in police science and investigations.
“I bring home the commitment of the Interpol Executive Committee and the international law enforcement community to stronger cooperation and coordination in our country’s concerns on domestic and transnational criminal activities in our own jurisdiction,” said Azurin.
He said the PNP is proud of Interpol’s recognition of recent successful operations against trafficking in persons, financial fraud, illegal drugs, and other white-collar crime activities that cross national borders.
In the Abu Dhabi conference, Azurin said the PNP delegation further sustained the Philippines’ commitment to cooperate and assist in Interpol investigations and search for wanted international fugitives and missing persons listed in its Red and Yellow Notice alert systems.
On top of all these recognitions by international counterpart police agencies, Azurin said Maj. Gen. Bernard Banac, PNP Directorate for Plans director, has been appointed to a six-man International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) ad hoc committee that will review the recommendations passed during the 24th Asian Regional Conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
This task also goes with Interpol’s objective to facilitate international police cooperation even where diplomatic relations are not present between certain countries.
“The Philippine law enforcement community has been instrumental in accounting for some international fugitives who have sought sanctuary in the Philippines. Equipped with better technical understanding and information shared by Interpol-member agencies, the PNP is now in a better capacity to handle police investigations related to cybercrime and trafficking in persons thru the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Women and Children Protection Center to which Interpol manifested its continuing support,” Azurin noted.
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