Crime surge responsibility falls squarely on Aquino

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That we are in the midst of a crime surge, probably the worst we’ve seen in our lifetimes, is undeniable.

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Newspaper headlines and TV news programs have been filled with reports of the most horrific and most spectacular of crimes, from the gang-rape and ruthless murder of a seven-year old girl, the robbery-killing in broad daylight of a businesswoman who just withdrew funds from the bank; to the movie-like interception by armed bandits (who turned out to be policemen) of their victim’s car right in the middle of traffic on EDSA.

Just last week, the respected Teresita Ang-See of the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order said a total of 40 kidnap-for-ransom incidents were recorded nationwide from January to March this year, already half the figure reported in 2008, the year when the number of kidnapping cases was at a record-high.

And these were just incidents that made it to the front pages this past week. Worse, as my colleague Ricardo Saludo exposed in his column yesterday, police chiefs have been caught tampering with their records to lower the crime incidences, something I have never heard done before even during Marcos’ dictatorship.

Social media networks have been buzzing with accounts of hapless office ladies robbed in taxicabs on their way home and much worse, the killing of kidnapped children right after their parents sought police help. Half of TV news programs appear to be dominated by reports of crimes, down to their grisly details.

They're responsible. Background: Viral video of policemen undertaking robbery in broad daylight on a major thoroughfare.

They’re responsible. Background: Viral video of policemen undertaking robbery in broad daylight on a major thoroughfare.

This crime surge falls squarely on President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd, as it always has been the prime responsibility of a state —and therefore, the chief executive—to secure the lives and property of its citizens. It is, in fact, a state’s primordial duty to its citizens, in exchange for their giving up part of their income—i.e. taxes—and of their freedoms —i.e., fealty to the nation.

In Aquino’s case, there are other reasons why he cannot but be blamed for the many lives lost and wrecked by criminals under his term.

First, it is his political right-hand man, Mar Roxas, who is the highest civilian authority in charge of the police, through the National Police Commission which he chairs. Has Aquino ever called Roxas’ attention that he is spending too much time politicking for his 2016 ambitions, and not neglecting the prime peace-and-order mandate of the interior and local government department which he heads?

Second, it is his bureaucratic right hand man, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, who chairs the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC), a super-body created since President Joseph Estrada’s term, which has as members the heads of all government entities dealing with crime.

Under Aquino, the PAOCC has been given annually P1 billion in confidential funds to track down heads of crime syndicates and the most wanted criminals. Yet it can’t even claim to have captured or killed a single known head of a crime syndicate over the past four years.

Senator Panfilo Lacson had made a name for himself, sufficient to catapult him to the Senate for heading the PAOCC during Estrada’s term.

I’d bet you’re surprised that Ochoa is Lacson’s equivalent in Aquino’s government. And I’d bet you’ve never heard of a Reginald Villasanta. He’s the PAOCC’s executive director, who should be the most high-profile government official these sad days when criminals are roaming our streets with impunity.

Thirdly, the head of the main law-enforcement government body, the Philippine National Police, is Police Director-General Alan Purisima, next to, or at par with, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, the government official closest to Aquino.

Never has there been a PNP head so close in personal terms to Aquino, a PNP officer pointed out. “Purisima has even been like a kuya to the President,” he said.

This is because Purisima had been Intelligence Officer/Commanding Officer of the Presidential Group of the Presidential Security Group and then Executive Officer of the Special Reaction Unit during his mother Corazon Aquino’s presidential term.

Purisima had been a de facto bodyguard and big brother to Aquino, even a mentor “to the ways of the world,” as a source termed it.

Purisima is so close to Aquino – in fact, other than his sisters, the only person who can go even to the President’s bedroom—that it is common knowledge in the PNP that he ignores Roxas, officially his boss, and there is an open rift between them. Because of this, the PNP has been divided between those on the “Roxas generals” side and those who are with the “Purisima generals,” that its effectiveness as a united anti-crime body has deteriorated severely.

A website—yes, there is a website of policemen anonymously exposing corruption in their organization—by the “Koalisyon ng mga Pulis Laban sa Kurap,” even alleges that Purisima directly controls the three-man National Police Commission “for several hundred reasons monthly.”

While Purisima blames it on the work of Roxas’ media group, which is for all its inane operations a veteran of many propaganda battles, the PNP chief now has the reputation—both in the police organization and among businessmen dealing with the law-enforcers—of being the worst ever.

He has been hounded by corruption charges. One involves his closing down of the regional offices of the unit issuing fire-arm licenses only to award the courier services to deliver those licenses to an outfit allegedly close to him. Another involves the renovation costing P20 million, bankrolled by a private group, of his quarters in Camp Crame.

Even the jai-alai operator—said to be owned by former President Estrada’s jueteng crony Atong Ang—filed criminal cases against Purisima and his officers for raiding their betting stations, allegedly after they refused demands for protection money for the police of P300,000 per week. “How corrupt can you be if somebody like Atong Ang sues you?” one source quipped.

The most important indicator, though, that Purisima hasn’t exactly been waging a war against crime, is the continued prevalence of jueteng, the numbers game, all over the country.

Where I live in south of Manila, the collectors of bets have even acquired brand-new motorcycles so that they could cover bigger areas. In some parts of the country like Batangas, jueteng is now referred to as “STL,” or small-town lottery, which is the name of the game authorized by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office but which has merely functioned as its front. Jueteng has been estimated to be at least a P20-billion business run by a few known gambling lords.

It is not a secret that jueteng is alive and kicking because it has an organized system of pay-offs—ironically reflected in the PCSO-STL’s contributions to various local agencies—from the local police and government officials to the provincial to the national level. Yes, the national level: the tuwid na daan ends where jueteng money begins.

Purisima is busy with something else, Ochoa is busy running the huge bureaucracy of government and probably with something else also, and Roxas must also be busy with his own concerns—plotting how he can get out of his basement-level popularity ratings in time for the 2016 elections, and smearing the front-runner for the presidency, Jejomar Binay. And we nearly forgot: Justice Department Secretary Leila de Lima with her National Bureau of Investigation has preferred to occupy her time putting senators and their alleged accomplices in jail.

And the top dog? He has busied himself putting the former President in jail, removing the Chief Justice from his post, hijacking the budget for his bribe money and 2016 campaign kitty through the Disbursement Acceleration Program, and pretending to reform the government.

Do you still wonder why there is a crime surge?

The poet Yeats’ words are so descriptive of our times:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned.

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
FB: Bobi Tiglao

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28 Comments

  1. Gloria is still the queen of corruption. Can’t believe how short some of your memories are. There are good reasons why she’s in hospital arrest. Sure there are still a lot of corrupt officials out there specially during her reign. But some are either kicked out of office and/or in jail thanks to Pnoy. One commenter claim that the surging economy was a product of GMA. LOL. Where is the evidence to back that up? The only corruption evidences placed her in hospital arrest. Pnoy is not perfect and may be surrounded by even less than perfect people but what he has done to help the Philippine economy is seen throughout the world. FYI, Philippines was voted the most corrupt country in Asia during the GMA era. Coincidentally, GMA was also voted the most corrupt president in Asia during her term. So please, don’t compare GMA to Pnoy. Good luck on the next election. Choose your evil pill.

  2. I hate to say this but, Ive already said this long before that, that person has no integrity. Before his mother died of cancer, he said he will never run for presidency. But when his mother died he then decided to run for president knowing it will be an easy win since people was still having the Cory-fever. This is just to show how, He, The President of the Republic of the Philippines, has none a bit of integrity in his soul. And now I am not surprised with what is happening to our country. Also I remembered a speech from our past president saying that “I’d rather see the Philippines run like hell by a Filipino than run like heaven by an foreigner.” dear dear dear dead president, how would you like to live your life now?…. living is a luxury dying is a necessity nowadays specially with our lesser fortunate countrymen.

  3. We should all reallize that the glory we are having right now is the fruit of the hardork done by the previous government’s economic discipline and enforcement of law. Imagine? amidst of controversy and scandal during that time, they were able to pull through and succeed all beecayse of great and intelligent planningon how to obtain Ecoonomic Dominance. tsk.ts, we are just being blinded of…see? the person behind the success we are eating right now is in the hospital (hospital arrest) suffering because we, filipino people put all the blame on her where infact, some of the people doing the most crime are still around the corner, smiling and very happy that their plot have succeeded.
    #ThinkersAreDoers!

  4. 100% spot on article. I can see that some yellow brained idiots are defending the Coconut in Chief. You people stop defending and start to demanding results. Aquino is a lazy, unqualified, self centered buffoon has done diddly-squat to better this country. The economic benefits are a result of the previous government. All he can do is shot off his arrogant, moronic mouth. He and his mother are the very worst Presidents this country ever had and corruption is out of control once more. Go figure!

  5. carmelita madara on

    Crime is always a result of corruption. because of so many dirty money going around. How was corruption during PGMA Reign.? Have you check. I though our point of departure when we do rationale analysis is reason based on facts before we make sweeping pronouncements. Be fair. It is a sin to tell a lie white or black lie.

  6. Roldan Guerrero on

    I am aware that there was a bill passed in congress regarding TOTAL FIREARMS BAN, but it did not take into law because Aquino vetoed it, because of his obsession in firearms as a result of RICO PUNO`s influence in him (may BAKLA palang mahilig sa baril) Everybody knows how impact PUNO has done in the inefficiency of this government. This is also the reason why loose firearms has reached its highest level. It is so unfortunate that we have installed a STUPID LEADER with bunch of STUPID ALLIES.

    • Total Firearms Ban to do what? Stop criminals from committing crimes? Also, how will a “Total Firearms Ban” stop crime when most of the crime being committed is by policemen? Haven’t you realized that the recent “crime surge” is happening just as the government is making it difficult for the law-abiding to possess and bear arms? Coincidence? I don’t think so. Every time a balance is disrupted, someone or something steps in to fill the void. In this instance, criminals are emboldened. Besides, all that the recent government clamp down on loose firearms achieved, is to foster mistrust on the government and boost the blackmarket on arms. The exact opposite of what it was meant to do.

  7. Dear RT, since nothing is happening from yours and other good columnist, can you give a alternative opinion as to what shall we do, being you (was) in the government.

    • Dick S. O'Rosary on

      Isn’t it obvious? The solution is to replace purisima and roxas, and for ochoa and delima to change their priorities, and for us citizens to be more vigilant.

  8. Daniel B. Laurente on

    There is one approach to at least lessen the occurence of robbery hold-ups being experienced by people withdrawing huge money from the banks. There are some employees of the banks who are in cahoots with robbers that once a huge amount is withdrawn by people without a security escort sighted with them, immediately they passed on the information to their accomplies outside. No one will suspect the bank employees doing this wrongful act and which is against the banking regulations. It is worth investigating by concern authorities. I have one experience on this type of wrongful activities made by a bank employee at Morayta Branch long time back although the amount involved was pretty much small but the act itself by the employee should be stopped.

  9. How about our local government units? What are they doing? If the national government is “noynoying,” our LGUs should take action. Dito sa amin, pag-kriminalidad ang pinaguusapan, hindi ang Malacanang ang sinisisi kundi and City Hall.

  10. The Aquino administration is inept, corrupt and hopeless. BS Aquino is one clueless guy and woe to us Filipinos for putting him in Malacanang. Let’s us hope that Filipinos will finally smarten up and elect in 2016 an honest and competent President.

  11. mikhail hieronymus on

    An uncle who was dreaming of returning to the Philippines after his retirement decided to stay put in California because of all the every day bad news from his beloved country.

    He can not understand why the senators and congressmen are so submissive to the inept president. It is like a one eyed Jack leading the country. “In the land of the blind, one eye Jack is king.”

    The simpleton president is surrounded by people who do not have any business in their position. As my uncle said, he will not even visit his town anymore. He said people might think he has a lot of money and robbed him or kill him.

  12. Dear Mr Tiglao, you have been painstakingly writing expose after expose about the ills of this Goverment, it seems nothing is happening. Thick hides on the faces of Aquinos cohorts are like bullet proof vest. The ambassador in Washington is still there despite your pointing the conflict of interest. Abad and all the corrupt ministers are carrying on with gusto, not to mention Aquino himself. Are we hapless to do anything for our country? This abnormal human being is running rings around all of us, God help the Philippines. DAMN ALL THOSE CORRUPT TONGRESSMEM AND SENATONGS, may they be infected with boils and incurable diseases. This is my wish!!!

    • It is frustrating, Butch. What what can I do? It’s not even my duty as a citizen, but my job as a journalist.
      Hope springs eternal, I guess.

  13. Truly the ” Nowwhere Man”, PeNoy and the Political MIscheif. Include the other gang like Kapal muks aBAD, Pigheaded Drooling Drilon, Liecierda, Paqiuto pacute…. and others. As simple as traffic, MRT, Prices of basic commodities and now criminality can not be solve.

  14. The crime surge is so appalling,the best evidence is the ABSENCE OF POLICEMEN in the street,yet you will see them in various checkpoints,where money is easy and less perilous,another thing is TRAFFIC,only in the PHILIPPINES where in every EDSA CORNER,you find traffic lights,MMDA personnel,local policemen,highway patrols ,all manning or enforcing traffic,YET CHAOS AND ANARCHY DOMINATES, THE SOLUTION IS NOT MORE PERSONEL, BUT TRUE DELIGENCE OF THEIR DUTY,ARE OUR TRAFFIC ENFORCER AND POLICEMEN REALLY DOING THEIR DUTY.? I It is so pathetic and disgusting that our country’s peace and order is from bad to worse.WHERE IS THE MATUWID NA DAAN?

  15. When Lacson was appointed PNP Chief by ERAP, many of us howled because of his background as head of POACC where many criminals like the sisters of the leader of the notorious Bulacan criminal syndicate Joey de Leon disappeared, the Kuratong Baleleng ambushed at Fairview overpass, Bobby Dace-Corbito kidnap murder but Lacson redeemed himself as PNP Chief when he ordered the arrest of all KOTONG COPS and one of his men died during a fire fight with these KOTONG COPS.
    Pampelo Lacson restored the glory of the PNP as Champion Of the People ( COP ) that catapulted him to the Senate.
    Sad to say Mar Roxas, his predecessor and PNP Chief Purisima does not have even an inch of the guts Czar Pampelo Lacson to fight criminals, even COPS. Di ba Bayan?

    • Lacson is a crook and a murderer. A fugitive from justice pardoned by the bumbling, spineless retard in Malacanang for reasons of political expediency. He is riding on his perceived reputation just like aquino is, fostered by people who are blind and clueless.

  16. This was posted by “Manny” in one of my other columns “Is the real estate bubble about to burst”, but seem to be very relevant to the crime issue:

    Solve the crime situation (daily kidnappings, riding in tandem robberies/ killings, crimes by policemen, etc..) and a tremendous amount of retiring overseas Filipinos specially from the US would comeback and buy homes in the Philippines or at least come back more often as tourists. I know of many retirees who wanted to retire in Manila but have instead bought houses in Arizona and Florida.

  17. Since it its a known fact that the mischievous one, PNoy does not have any blue-print in governance, we cannot expect anything good resulting from simple incompetence. Whatever happens will happen and the public will just have to face realities that in the Philippines today, nobody is in charge. Mischievous PNoy is just President for a reason and the reason is he is being used and abused by his so-called allies and confidantes because by himself PNoy really knows nothing. Just look at his “advisers” and these folks either are tradpols, political butterflies, scions of family dynasties, those who pretends to be loyal to him and those who use him for their own selfish reasons.

  18. Helpless, hapless, disgusting, inept crooks are guarding the Philippines safety. Embarrassing, insensitive and callous. Are these the descriptions or abilty of PNoy’s leadership?

  19. Aquino’s “Tuwid na Daan” is Satan-inspired. Not long from now this country will find itself in the belly of hell.

  20. gabriela silang on

    where before, we feel safe near a police, it is not so these days. and rightly so because of the unimaginable surge in criminality. the impunity by which criminals perpetuate their crimes boggle the mind. no one feels safe anymore.that’s why when our kids leave our house we always say “ingat”. it is an accepted fact that safety is by the minute. coz you will never know when bad luck hits you and you have no one to turn to. high profile crimes involve men in uniform. this sends shiver down the spine. where before the anti crime czar is visibly explaining and reassuring the populace that things are being done to keep us safe, now we hear none from the crime czar, the dilg sec. and the chief pnp. it wont be long and ours will be like the wild ,wild west where everyone’s to his one. the last time i checked, we are still calling ours a country of laws. maybe we should change that to country of LOOSE!

    • That’s when Gloria was still the prez, Ma’am. Laws rein perfectly well, then. That’s why she’s at the Veterans now having suffered a lot due to her overly zealous execution of laws.Hehehe.