Crime incidence in the Bicol region has significantly dropped by 21 percent during the first three quarters of the year owing to the strict enforcement of the community quarantine guidelines aimed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.
BGen. Bartolome Bustamante, Bicol police chief said, “the decline in crime figures may be attributed to a policing strategy bringing more policemen on the streets, setting up checkpoints and anti-crime operations to ensure public safety amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Bustamante quoting PNP data showed that crime incidence for the period January to September this year recorded a 21 percent dropped or 13,476 cases or 3,711 cases lower from the 17,187 cases reported for the same period last year.
Of the total crimes recorded during the first semester of this year, 8,389 or 63 percent were peace and order index or index crimes, while 5,087 or 37 percent were public safety index crimes.
For index crimes, there was a noted decline in the recorded cases by 37 percent from 3,033 during the same period in 2019 to 1,919 during the first semester of the year.
Top crimes committed under this category include: Theft with 646; followed by Rape,437; Robbery,270; Physical injuries-258; Murder 213; Carnapping (Motorcycle),48; Homicide,44; and others (special complex crimes),three.
While for the non-index which include enforcement of special laws such as ECQ guidelines, illegal logging, illegal fishing, illegal gambling, narcotics, traffic violations, violence against women and children, fraud, and forgery.
For the total crime incidents reported, 76 percent or 10,241 were solved.
However, several controversial cases such as the: murder of Ako Bicol Party List Rep. Rodel Batocabe in December 2018; rape-slay of Bicol University (BU) students Laesybel Almonacid rape in 2011; Cris Hugo slay in 2006; and Camalig Mayor Florencio Munoz murder including 11 media killings, remained unsolved and were considered as cold cases by the police.
The recent killing of Joebert Bercasio, an online broadcaster brought to two media personalities killed in Sorsogon.
In Albay, media persons killed include: Joey Llana, radio anchor; John Villanueva, radio anchor of DZGB; Claire Domingo, a military radio anchor; Jose Loreno of DZRC; and Ruel Endrinal of DWRL.
In Camarines Sur, media killing that remained unsolved were: Ronaldo “Anjo” Julia of DZGE Naga City killed in 2008; Miguel Belen of DWEB Iriga City killed in 2010; and Romeo Olea of DWEB killed in 2011. Records said all victims were killed by still unidentified gunmen.
In the island provinces of Masbate, police records have the unsolved killings of radio anchormen Nelson Nader and Joaquin “Jun” Briones, while in Catanduanes, the case of Larry Que is still being investigated.