Crime volume up in Metro
Jan 13, 2013 (The Manila Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Saturday admitted that despite intensified efforts to stop criminality, much work needs to be done in fighting crime.
Mr. Aquino said that while crime volume has decreased nationwide, the crime rate in Metro Manila has gone up. The President was the keynote speaker at the 20th anniversary of the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO), a nongovernmental organization founded by Teresita Ang-See in 1993 to combat kidnapping and rampant criminality in the country.
"Recent events--instances of violence and recklessness when it comes to the use of firearms--push the government to work even harder when it comes to keeping our cities and barangays free from crime," he said.
"May we just note that the increase in crime volume reported for the National Captial Region is the result of a new method to more precisely capture the crime incidents. So there's a change in reportorial requirements that brought about the increase," the President added.
Mr. Aquino said that he has ordered Interior Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas 2nd to step up the campaign against loose firearms, which is used by criminals in their nefarious activities.
"The issue of loose firearms is an important component of our fight against criminality not only because we want safe and peaceful elections in 2013, but for greater peace and order in our communities," he said.
He added that the Philippine National Police (PNP) has started conducting stringent operations against private armed groups.
"So far, we have in our custody a recovered total of 249 firearms, and more than a hundred individuals belonging to these armed groups are now in jail," the President said.
He cited the PNP's Oplan Katok, which involves policemen visiting houses of identified holders of expired firearms licenses with the goal of having these licenses renewed, or the firearms surrendered.
"More than 25,000 house visitations have already been conducted, and all PNP Regional Directors have been ordered to complete visitations in their areas of responsibility, I am told, by this very Saturday," Mr. Aquino said.
In light of the recent shooting incidents that triggered calls for a total gun ban, the President said that the government is "looking for solutions that are strategic, rational, and effective."
Meanwhile, a covenant to streng-then the partnership of the government and citizenry in combating criminality was signed by Ang See, Roxas, Justice Secretary Leila dDe Lima, Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, Director General Alan Purisima, PNP chief, National Bureau of Investigation chief Nonnatus Caesar Rojas, journalists Jiggy Manicad and Ces Orena-Drilon and Ka Kuen Chua, chairman of MRPO.
"The success of MRPO is clearly evident in the huge reduction in the number of kidnapping incidents.
However, much work remains to be done to restore peace and order and bring back sanity in our everyday lives. This can be done only through the continued support and cooperation of the citizenry and the persistence and dedication of members who are willing to make sacrifices for the greater good," Ang-See said.
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