ILOILO CITY—For the first nine months of the year, there was a 30-percent drop in crime volume across Iloilo province.

IMG 20201006 094648 605 1024x683 - Police report 30-percent drop in crime incidence in Iloilo province
A cop wearing a face shield is deployed in Iloilo to make sure the public is adhering to minimum health standards to stop the spread of COVID-19. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

Iloilo Provincial Police Office (PPO) Director Col. Gilbert Gorero attributed the decline to the quarantine restrictions implemented due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak since March. 

From January to September 2020, IPPO recorded 3,450 crime incidents in 42 towns and the component city of Passi.  In comparison, there were 4,933 crime incidents recorded for the same period of last year. 

In particular, there was a 17-percent reduction of focus crimes such as robbery or theft.  Only 462 focus crimes were recorded this year.  In comparison, there were 646 cases for same period of last year. 

But there was a 10-percent and 16-percent increase on cases of homicide and murder, respectively. 

“We have observed that these homicide and murder cases transpired in far-flung areas. Of these cases, 61 were committed with the use of firearms which ensued after a heated argument between the parties,” Gorero said.

The provincial top cop noted that the prolonged community quarantine was affecting people’s temper, as well as causing anxieties that can lead to unruly behavior. 

To curb the increase in homicide and murder cases, Gorero called on police chiefs in the 42 towns and Passi City to reach out to village officials in far-flung areas to mobilize the tanods. 

Meanwhile, Gorero also appealed to the public to engage in more productive activities.

“Instead of drinking sessions, start planting vegetables and ornamentals,” Gorero urged.

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