By Jennifer P. Rendon
Effective communication campaign on the rights of women and children is seen to have helped reduce rape incidents in Iloilo province.
For the first quarter of 2022, the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) recorded 39 rape cases.
The number is slashed by more than half from 52 cases in the same period in 2021.
Aside from rape, homicide was also reduced by more than half, from 7 cases in 2021 to 3 in 2022.
Physical injuries was also reduced by a third, from 33 cases in 2021 to 21 incidents this year.
Motornapping incidents remained at two cases while murder incidents rose by one case with 18 incidents this year.
But other eight focus crimes posted increases, particularly crimes against properties.
From 17 cases last year, robbery incidents increased to 22 in 2022.
On the other hand, theft cases rose from 20 to 25 in the first quarter this year.
Senior Master Sergeant Francisco Lindero, Jr., IPPO spokesperson, said there could be several reasons for such reason like economic pressures due to increases in the prices of fuel and basic goods.
“Nagmahal ang gasoline and with the inflation, mas damo pa gid ang namigado, which is their usual reason why they commit robbery and theft,” he said.
Lindero is also not discounting the possibility that some persons may have been hooked to illegal gambling and drove them to commit crimes.
On the slight increase of murder, Lindero said that with things almost going back to normal, many crimes that happened during drinking sprees also occurred.
“Some of these cases stemmed from drunkenness,” he said
Earlier, the IPPO leadership has ordered its field commanders to step up its campaign against criminality.
Colonel Adrian Acollador, Iloilo police chief, has told chiefs of police to enhance patrolling and intelligence gathering against robbers and thieves.
The order came on the heels of robbery incidents end of March.
He also reminded them to revitalize their respective barangay intelligence network (BIN) and other support groups to pre-empt similar crime incidents.
Even Acollador acknowledged that the “almost” normal situation gave criminals the opportunity to do their illegal activities.
“The fuel price hike, which makes life a bit difficult today, could be a reason by these suspects to do this, but that would not excuse them to commit a crime,” he said.
He also enjoined the public, especially those who engage in business, to be extra careful and to take some safety measures to avoid being victims of robbery and thievery.