By Jennifer P. Rendon
Iloilo province continues to see a steady decline in the number of crimes from January 2022 to date despite some controversial incidents.
Records from the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) – Provincial Investigation and Detective Management Unit showed that 1,745 incidents classified under the peace and order indicator (POI) were recorded this year.
The number is 11.86 percent lower compared to 1,980 incidents in the same period in 2021.
POI classification includes crimes that reflect the true crime picture and peace and order situation of a community. This includes the totality of Index and Non-Index Crimes.
Index crimes, also referred to as focus crimes, include murder, homicide, physical injuries, robbery, theft, carnapping, and rape.
Since January 2022, IPPO logged 328 non-index crimes or 10.1 percent lower than the 365 incidents last year.
Meanwhile, non-index crimes refer to violations of special laws and Revised Penal Code other than the index crimes, and frustrated and attempted stages of focus crimes.
A total of 1,417 non-index crimes were recorded for the period, or 12.26 percent lower than the 1,615 incidents for the same period last year.
Colonel Adrian Acollador, Iloilo police chief, lauded his personnel for the efforts which contributed to the downtrend in crime statistics.
But he also reminded them not to be complacent despite the lower crime numbers.
“We did well, and our strategies are gaining positive results, but the recent three robbery incidents with fatalities generated unfavorable impressions from the public; we have to recover,” he said.
Acollador was referring to the piracy incident in Carles town last September 10 at the seawater of Brgy. Bitoon wherein the suspects carted around P320,000.
Another incident was the robbery at Barangay Pasig, Lambunao, Iloilo on September 15 which resulted in the death of one of the three (3) victims. The culprits allegedly took off with P591,000.
The most sensational case so far is the alleged robbery involving P7.5-million in Estancia town on September 14 that led to the death of three young businessmen.
While the incidents in Lambunao and Carles are already up for filing with the prosecution following the identification of the suspects by the witnesses, the incident in Estancia is still under investigation.
Considering the complexity of the incident in Estancia, Brigadier General Leo Francisco, Western Visayas police chief, ordered the creation of the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) “PALIBOSFER.”
The SITG is composed of various PNP units and is mandated to gather evidence, identify the suspects, and file the case in court.
Meanwhile, Acollador assured that the police are still on top of the situation and the IPPO is doing its best to prevent and preempt crimes.
He, however, enjoined the public to help the police in ensuring community safety and security by being vigilant of suspicious individuals and groups roaming in their localities.
Acollador also reiterated to the chiefs of police the order to intensify police presence and visibility through massive mobile and foot patrol, intensify the campaign against loose firearms, and intensify the intelligence monitoring and gathering of information.