MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte is looking at training more police officers to go after motorcycle-riding criminals.
In a public address aired Wednesday night, Duterte expressed concern over the increasing number of street crimes amid the reopening of the economy and loosening of the quarantine restrictions in several areas in the country.
"We have seen an upsurge of group holdups, street crimes again, because of the liberality being offered by the opening of the economy, and of course people are now allowed to roam freely and to travel," he said, adding that most criminals use a motorcycle as their get-away vehicle.
"The most convenient way is really 'yung motor. Kapag nakapatay sila, dito sasakay," Duterte also said.
(The most convenient way to escape after committing a crime is riding a motorcycle.)
Duterte admitted it is difficult for law enforcers to go after motorcycle-riding criminals because they can easily weave in and out of traffic, unlike the vehicles that most police personnel use.
"This is very hard to control. I understand the nightmare the police are facing, how to control the mobility of the criminal right after committing a crime. Kasi ang motor kasi, mag-zigzag lang 'yan in and out of traffic situations, so they can really get away with it easily. Unlike motor vehicles, ma-ano ng traffic. Pati itong mga motor minsan, dumaadaan pa ng sidewalks. (These motorcycles sometimes also use sidewalks) That is of course a matter we have to address," he said.
He recommended training more police officers on motorcycles to go after criminals.
"If we can train, the Highway Patrol can train about, siguro in one class, 30, we have to increase the mobile capacity ng pulis saka we can buy motorcycles, 'yung mahaba. One that can negotiate any obstacle, the ordinary obstacles that you can find on the streets. But they have to be trained," Duterte explained.
Duterte is looking at around 250 additional mobile police personnel, who can be deployed incognito.
"Kailangan pag-aralan 'yan and we can ask the DILG kung paano... 250 will be good... pero hindi naka-uniporme...I know that it is not advisable, but the only way to really counter the anonymity of the criminal is also to fight the same on the ground," he said.
(We have to study that and we can ask the DILG how to do it...250 will be good...but they will not be in uniform...I know that it is not advisable, but the only way to really counter the anonymity of the criminal is also to fight the same on the ground.)
Interior and Local Government Sec. Eduardo Año last month said the crime volume in the country decreased by 47 percent during the first six months that the country was placed under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Año, citing data from the Philippine National Police (PNP), said there were 16,879 reported incidents of crime from March 17 to present.
This is almost half of the crime incidents logged six months before the lockdown, or from September 2019 to the earlier half of March 2020, where 31,1661 incidents were reported.