Govt should take radical measures to curb crime

Ej Lopez

Ej Lopez

The brazenness by which criminal activities are committed currently speaks of how the state of the nation’s economic condition has affected the public mindset. The shameful acts by some people in authority to meddle in high-profile criminal cases only spotlights the need for a complete revamp in our bureaucracy before the public totally loses confidence in our system. As it is, the people have become helpless not only about their personal security but also toward widespread corruption that seems to go unabated.

Unless the authorities take radical measures to implement policies and take action to eliminate criminal elements that freely roam the streets, we might as well let the people protect themselves from imminent atrocities committed by criminal elements, by allowing responsible people to arm themselves. Criminal activities have become an ordinary phenomenon where it is committed by shameless elements, yet these have escaped the awareness and consciousness of police authorities particularly in the Sampaloc area; and this has become almost a usual and regular occurrence in other places as well. If ever you are victimized, there is no other recourse but to simply shrug your shoulders. Greater emphasis should be given to jeepneys plying the Tayuman and Lardizabal routes in Manila where the bulk of holdups occur on a regular basis, and where students and ordinary employees fall prey to criminal elements regularly. So far, nothing significant has been done by the authorities to remedy the situation.

It is the custom of these lawless characters to ride a motorcycle, which makes their dastardly acts more convenient to carry out. This mode of transportation also makes it harder for them to be apprehended. Strict measures therefore should be taken relative to the regulation of laws pertinent to the use of motorcycles, for the protection of the riders and the public.

Despite several attempts to draw attention to crimes that have become so commonplace—like holdups in jeepneys, snatching, drug pushing, kidnappings and the like—the police appear unconcerned by these misconducts. What was previously done “incognito” without the intention of hurting the victims, are now blatantly committed without regard for the victims. Do we need to wait for blood to spill on the streets of Manila, because people have risen in arms to protect themselves from these atrocities? Can’t the local authorities act on their own initiative and take immediate action, and not wait for media to play up repeatedly these incidents that transpire right under their noses?

We should take notice that more than 200,000 students and residents in the Sampaloc and Santa Cruz area may fall prey to these criminal elements. We are all parents or guardians who entrust our child and wards to the systems in place in our society.

Do we have to wait for the good Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Supt. Alan Purisima to act on this matter and let some heads roll? Or is it about time that the good Mayor of Manila Erap Estrada take action to protect the interests of his constituents that seem lost because their safety is threatened?

Economy growing but debt rising
Think of other economic theories, whether in economics or business, that have an inverse relationship aside from the law of demand; if there is any, it would still lead relative to the same theory of the law of demand.

But the current national condition is a mass of contradictions. On the one hand your gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 7.2 percent, you have credit upgrades from reputable foreign credit rating agencies and you have the perceived trust and confidence of the people. Yet on the other hand government debt increased by 5 percent increase to P5.59 trillion, up by P259.27 billion from the P5.34-trillion level of the previous year. Instead of the decreasing because the economy grew, the level of government debt went in the opposite direction.

This is not only because of the appreciation of the US dollar against the peso, inflation and other occurrences, but also because of the lack of investments that the country has long waited for. A lot of pledges and promises have been made relative to the series of state visits that President Benigno Aquino 3rd has completed, but none have significantly materialized as of the present. Programs pertinent to public-private partnership (PPP), the brain child of President Aquino, remain “unpartnered” and unmoving up to now. As such, the expected strengthening of the currency and the anticipated employment generation of this regime remain unrealized.

Priority, of course, should be given to addressing widespread unemployment that continues to create adverse reactions and haunt the nation. And perhaps this is also the foremost reason behind the increasing criminality that has beset large areas of the metropolis and other parts of the country.

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