MANILA, Philippines, April 4 ------ The crime volume in the country went down by 52 percent since President Duterte implemented the enhanced community quarantine to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy chief for operations, said 832 index crimes were recorded from March 17 to March 29, which is lower by 52.46 percent compared to 1,750 cases from March 4 to March 16. Incidents categorized as index crimes are murder/ homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery and theft. Eleazar particularly cited robbery and theft cases which went down by 57.59 percent, from 896 to 380.
In Luzon, which was placed under community quarantine, crimes went down by 60.23 percent from 958 to 381. The crime volume in Metro Manila dropped from 372 to 154, a decrease of 58.60 percent. Eleazar said the figures only show that criminals are also scared of contracting COVID-19. He stressed the importance of regularly providing citizens with food and other basic commodities to prevent looting. “Dapat masustain natin itong magandang sitwasyon na ito sa pagtutok sa mga basic needs ng ating mga kababayan,” Eleazar told radio station dzMM.
The PNP has put in place contingency measures to address a possible surge in theft incidents as non-essential workers were forced to stop their activity due to the quarantine.