There has been a drastic reduction in crime volume in Northern Mindanao from 2017 to 2018, an improvement accomplished in all its five provinces and two key cities.
Statistics from the Police Regional Office Region 10 (PRO-10) presented during the Quarterly Review of the Economic Situationer (QRES) conducted by the National Economic Development Authority Region 10 office March 22nd, show that total index crimes in 2018 dropped by 50.9% while total non-index crimes decreased 29.7%, leading to an impressive 36.5% drop in total crime volume region-wide compared to 2017.
"We can attribute these reductions to the extension of martial law in Mindanao, dialogues conducted between DOJ prosecutors, reviews of cold cases, and the installation of chiefs of police trained in the Investigation Officer Basic Course," said P/Sr. Inspector Glenn C. Abalde, PRO-X Chief of the Crime Research & Analysis Section.
Crimes against property recorded a drastic reduction of 65% (4,384 vs. 1,533) with impressive reductions across the board: theft (-69.2%), robbery (-60%), cattle rustling (-58%), and carnapping of motor vehicles and motorcycles (-69.2%).
Crimes against persons dropped 29.2% (2,873 vs. 2,033) with greatest reductions in physical injuries (-38%), murder (-18.2%), and rape.
As a result, the average monthly crime rate in Region 10 dropped -14.3 percentage points (ppt).
Although the total number of crimes solved dropped 28.2 ppts as a result of the overall drop in total crime volume, as did the number of crimes cleared (-26.7%), police and other law enforcers nevertheless still managed to increase crime solution efficiency by 8.5 and their crime clearance efficiency by 11.7 ppts.
“Peace is an entitlement of the people,” said Cagayan de Oro City Mayor S. Oscar Moreno, who sits as the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-10) Chairperson.
“The beauty of bringing development to the countryside is you know that it is needed and you know that it will have its optimal results. Giving the people in the mountains the opportunity to live a life that those in the highways have long enjoyed is beyond compare,” he added.
During the March 13 launch of the Regional Peacebuilding and Development Framework and Agenda (RPBDFA) for northern Mindanao, Moreno recalled a convergence experience of the government in Sitio Lantad, Barangay Kibanban, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, which he described as “a symbol of neglect that the government has been guilty of.”
When it was abandoned by previous administrations of the provincial government, the New People’s Army made it a regional headquarters.
However, during his tenure as Misamis Oriental Provincial Governor, Moreno related how they restored peace through development and made it a showcase for local peace building initiative ( “The Lantad Peace-Building Experience: Turning Red to Green in Misamis Oriental”/From a ‘No Man’s Land’ to a Land of Hope/Strategic Innovations in Upgrading Misamis Oriental’s Provincial Peace and Order Council) that won the province its second straight Galing Pook award in 2012.
Similar gains have been made in Cagayan de Oro especially Moreno’s second term as City Mayor. Despite a rise in total crime volume from 2016 to 2017, crimes cleared reached 138.5% and crime clearance efficiency 41.1%.
While Cagayan de Oro still recorded the highest crime volume in Region 10 for 2018, it accomplished an impressive 45% reduction (-3,369) in total crime volume compared to 2017.
As a result in the drastic drop in crime volume, the number of crimes cleared by the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office dropped from 5,422 in 2017 to only 3,593 in 2018. Nevertheless, COCPO increased its crime clearance efficiency to 87.2% in 2018 from 72.4% in 2017.
Similarly, the number of crime solved by COCPO dropped from 4,740 in 2017 to 3,177 also due to the drastic drop in crime volume. Still, COCPO again delivered by improving its crime solution efficiency from 63.3% in 2017 to 77.1% in 2018.
Thus, as a result of the combined effects of the -45% decrease in total crime volume, coupled with the 13.8% in crime solution efficiency and 14.8% improvement in crime clearance efficiency by the COCPO, the average monthly crime rate in Cagayan de Oro City dropped from 89.3 in 2017 to 49.1 per 100,000 population in 2018 , an impressive 40.2 reduction.
"We can also attribute these gains to our activation of barangay tanods as force multipliers and the first line of law enforcement and engagement in all of Cagayan de Oro City's 80 barangays," said City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a, Jr. The LGU and barangays share the budget 50/50 honoraria for the tanods monthly honoraria.
The decline in criminality region-wide is also attributed to the crime prevention efforts of the police with the cooperation of the community, particularly in sustaining efforts to keep the streets safe and crime free.
This earned the Philippine National Police – Regional Office X (PRO-X) a commendation as the top regional office in the country in terms of crime reduction for the first half of the 2018 and ranked No. 3 nationwide in law enforcement for 2018.
“The relentless effort on crime prevention especially on illegal drugs operations resulted in the reduction of crimes,” said P/Supt. Lemuel B. Gonda, former PRO-10 spokesperson and currently 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company Commander in Misamis Oriental. “Most of the crimes recorded are drug-related cases.”