By Rambo Talabong
MANILA --- Is Naga City a shabu (methamphetamine) hotbed as President Rodrigo Duterte has accused it of?
The Philippine National Police (PNP) believes that their Commander-in-chief has the basis to announce so, top cop Director General Oscar Albayalde said on Wednesday, August 22.
Citing PNP numbers, Albayalde said Naga City stands 5th in the list of cities across the Philippines with the highest crime volume, which covers crimes against persons and properties.
“[A]mong the major cities of the country, Naga City has consistently ranked number 5 in terms of crime volume in the first semester of 2017 and 2018,” Albayalde told reporters.
Albayalde said the top 4 are Santiago in Isabela, Angeles in Pampanga, Olongapo in Zambales, and Puerto Princesa in Palawan.
Why does crime volume matter? The Philippine National Police has long held that the volume of crime is directly proportional with drug proliferation.
This is based on the anecdotal evidence of cops that crimes are perpetrated by people craving or high on shabu, and that crimes are masterminded by high-profile drug lords.
When asked whether the PNP has data directly pointing to Naga as a source of illegal drugs, the PNP said it would release data to reporters.
Naga rose to prominence for being the hometown of Vice President Leni Robredo—the opposition figurehead repeatedly lambasted by President Duterte. Robredo’s late husband, Jesse, was a longtime mayor of the city.