MANILA (UPDATED) - When the Philippine National Police (PNP) was ordered to lay low on the war on drugs last October 2017, then-PNP chief Ronald 'Bato' dela Rosa told his men to focus on gunmen on motorcycles, or motorcycle-riding suspects (MRS) to the police.
It was during this time when murder and robberies perpetuated by motorcyle-riding suspects proliferated.
According to data released by the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM), MRS attacked 4 times a day on average from October 11, 2017 to June 4, 2018.
DIDM recorded 933 MRS shooting incidents. Of the 933, 862 were murder cases. A total of 274 have been resolved but 588 remain under investigation. Seventy-one were homicide cases, with 37 already resolved and 34 still under investigation.
The crime trend on 8 focused crimes involving MRS showed that the number one motive was robbery with 971, followed by murder with 854, and motorcycle theft with 247.
“Motorcycle was an indispensable tool in the commission of the crime, or to make good of his escape, ang ginamit niya motorsiklo,” PNP DIDM Director P/Dir. Elmo Sarona said.
According to DIDM, 1,139 people were involved in the shooting incidents; 57 suspects were arrested and 12 were killed; 1,070 suspects remain at large; 388 suspects at large have been identified, and 682 were still unidentified.
Calabarzon had the most number of recorded shooting incidents with 135, followed by Central Visayas with 110, and National Capital Region with 107 incidents.
“It’s because of population, economic activity. Alam naman natin, sa Calabarzon, yung mga pabrika at industriya doon, almost 24 hours. And, of course, as supplied by our intel unit, mas maraming criminal gangs ang Calabarzon. Ang NCR at Calabarzon, nag-aano lang yan, magkalapit lang,” Sarona said.
(It's because of the population, economic activity. We know that in Calabarzon, there are a lot of factories and the industries there operate 24 hours a day. And as supplied by our intel unit, there are many criminal gangs in Calabarzon. NCR and Calabarzon are adjacent to each other.)
SOCCSKSARGEN or Central Mindanao had the highest Crime Solution Efficiency or most number of resolved crimes with 51 cases solved out of 83 or 61.45% efficiency rate.
Second on the list is Cordillera region with 5 out of 9 cases solved or 55.56% crime solution efficiency.
Third on the list is Bicol region with 52.94% efficiency rate.
Meanwhile, Central Luzon had the least number of crimes solved with 7.02%, followed by NCR with 11.93%, and Northern Mindanao with 16.57%.
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) has expressed concern over the recent rise in killings involving motorcycling-riding criminals, particularly gun-for-hire suspects.
According to VACC spokesperson Boy Evangelista, gun-for-hire criminals have significantly increased and targeted even known personalities.
“Unang-una, ang VACC ay nababahala doon sa continuous, uncontrollable killings involving itong mga gun-for-hire, na isa atang bagong cottage industry na kulang na lang irehistro sa SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission],” Evangelista said.
(VACC is concerned with the continuous, uncontrollable killings involving gun-for-hire. This is like a new cottage industry that only needs to be registered with the SEC.)
Evangelista also said this problem is creating a climate of fear, and the VACC is asking for police intervention to control it.
VACC is puzzled why police are unable to intervene when they can already make an initial assessment and police intelligence work for every case assigned to them.
“Ang hindi namin maintindihan, bakit ang daling kumontak ng mga gun-for-hire so bakit walang assessment, police intelligence work kung paano magkaroon ng police intervention, initiatives, para nga po matigil ito,” Evangelista said.
(What we don't understand is why it seems to be so easy to look for gun-for-hire, why there is no assessment, police intelligence work, how there can be police intervention, initiatives so this can be controlled.)
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Guillermo Eleazar said they are focusing on areas with high incidents of MRS.
“Meron tayong interventions na ginagawa para ma-prevent yung motorcycle-riding suspects and their crime. Dini-direct natin ang operation natin sa mga lugar kung saan nandoon ang frequency ng mga crimes na nangyayari involving MRS. Pati na rin itong mga Oplan Sita at mga intelligence-driven operation,” Eleazar said.
(We have measures to prevent motorcycle-riding suspects and their crimes. We concentrate our operations in areas with crimes mostly involving MRS. We also use Oplan Sita and intelligence-driven operations to prevent crimes involving MRS.)
NCRPO, Calabarzon and Central Luzon will join forces and share best practices to combat MRS.
“That’s why 2 months ago, nagkaroon ng workshop, nag-create ng technical working group attended by key officers ng Regions 3, 4-A and NCRPO. Dahil lahat ng mga best practices na ginagawa nitong mga regions na ito ay pinag-usapan and we will be coming up with a unified strategy. Alam naman natin na itong MRS na ito, lusutan lang ang mga iyan sa tatlong regions na ito. Kaya nga mas maganda na unified ang approach natin,” Eleazar said.
(That's why 2 months ago we had a workshop, we created a technical working group attended by key officers ng Regions 3, 4-A and NCRPO. We talked about the best practices in each region to come up with a unified strategy. As you know, these MRS, they just go from one region to the other, so it is better to have a unified approach.)
“We are also considering several interventions na maaaring ginawa na sa iba pero nangangailangan ng modifications, so that we can be more prepared,” he added.
(We are also considering several other measures that are implemented elsewhere but might need to be modified so we can be more prepared.)
However, the DIDM said the trend in MRS incidence has been on a downtrend.
From October 11- Dec 8, 2017, there were 31 incidents recorded weekly.
It went down to 27 per week from December 6, 2017 - April 16, 2018, and only 24 incidents per week from April 17 to June 4.
“From October 11, we took the 34 weeks prior to that, we found out that before, there were 49 incidents per week. So 49, naging 31, naging 27, and then for the last seven weeks, it decreased to 24 per week,” Sarona explained.
(From October 11, we took the 34 weeks prior to that, we found out that before, there were 49 incidents per week. So, from 49, it became 31, then 27 and then for the last seven weeks, it decreased to 24 per week.)
The DIDM said all regions must continuously undertake various anti-criminality operations and enhance police operations to review, assess and develop initiatives and specific interventions in order to minimize homicide incidents and increase resolution of homicide cases under investigation or HCUIs.