Vice President Jejomar Binay expressed concern over the spike in crime rate, saying that the 885,445 crimes reported from January to June this year is higher than the 603,085 incidents during the same period in 2014.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) also reported 17,619 drug-related cases filed in various courts nationwide in 2014.
“The increasing number of crimes is alarming. Government should do all it can to protect its constituents, especially those in the marginalized sector: the children, the women and the elderly,” Binay said.
“Economic growth is senseless if people don’t feel safe and secure in their surroundings. How can we have growth if we are afraid to go out of our homes because of the increasing crime rate?” he added.
The Vice President also condemned the increased attacks on media practitioners.
“Freedom of the press is vital in a democracy. The rising cases of media practitioners being killed or pressured because of their jobs shows government’s failure to keep its people safe,” Binay said.
“The fact that no suspects involved in media killings have been convicted in the past 13 years will only enforce our notorious tag of being one of the most dangerous places for journalists to work in,” he added.
Recently, armed men attempted to take over a radio station in Iloilo city. The PDEA-Western Visayas had said the incident was drug-related as the radio station had a program, Aksyon Night Patrol, that aired critical commentaries on the proliferation of illegal drugs in the province.
“We should encourage freedom of expression, not curtail it. It is appalling that journalists are being pressured for simply doing their job. Violence against the members of the press has no place in a democratic and civilized society,” Binay said.
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) estimated that for the first half of the year, there were 40 cases of murder and 36 cases of homicide per day.
“Three journalists were murdered in August. Three judges were shot dead in a span of three months. A number of extrajudicial killings were also recorded. I call on our police to help ensure the safety of our citizens and see to that that they remain free from harassment and acts of violence,” Binay said.