How to slash crime in six months


First of two parts
First, don’t get all worked up over campaign hyperbole. Those disdaining Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s pledge to resign as president if he can’t eradicate crime in three to six months, should recall Benigno Aquino 3rd’s campaign and presidential promises.

As candidate, Aquino said he would prioritize the Freedom of Information Act. Yet as president, he has stalled FOI till today. Year after year he boasted of impending rice sufficiency. But we still import millions of tons annually, most of it smuggled.

And remember his 2013 remark to have himself and Transportation Secretary Jose Emilio Abaya run over by commuter train if the Light Rail Transit extension to Cavite wasn’t completed last year?

With LRT’s Cavite line not even started last December, Presidential Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma just said Aquino’s remark was “an aspirational statement [which]should not be taken literally.”

Still, Aquino enjoys high trust rating. Well, if one allows a sitting President such leeway with his words, why not an aspiring one?

Coloma also said: “The President was speaking with a sense of urgency when he announced his desire to see the project ‘within two years’.” Ditto Duterte’s half-year deadline to wipe out crime.

Lawlessness — the country’s No. 1 problem
What’s good about the motorcycle-riding mayor’s bold pledge is that it has focused long-overdue attention on lawlessness. It’s our most pressing problem today and one of two top public concerns along with poverty, in Pulse Asia polls. Yet only Duterte has made it top priority.

Make no mistake about it: The explosion in crime, contraband and corruption under Aquino — perpetrated by a demonic cabal of criminal syndicates, big-time smugglers, and sleazy politicians and bureacrats — destroys and threatens the life, limb, and livelihood of millions.

Here are the facts from the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Philippines In Figures yearbooks for 2015 and 2013 (see and , noting that 2011-12 data are grossly understated, for which several police chiefs were suspended or investigated).

Crime more than tripled between 2010 and 2014, with further surges last year, based on the 46 percent rise in January-June 2015 reported by the Philippine National Police Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management, a key PNP data unit.

Hence, in the past three years alone, an estimated 3 million crimes have been recorded, with many thousands more not even reported to police.

Assuming each crime has just two victims on average, that’s 6 million Filipinos directly affected. Add three kith or kin per victim, and a quarter of our 100-million population who suffered from or personally knew about criminal acts. Plus many millions more seeing lawlessness on the evening news and the morning paper.

No wonder Duterte leads surveys despite his much smaller campaign fund and network.
lawlessness20160412Belatedly, Senator Grace Poe and Vice-President Jejomar Binay are trying to counter Duterte’s monopoly on the anti-crime message. In her latest ads with adoptive mother Susan Roces, Poe now says she will fight crime and graft. And in an interview yesterday, Binay told citizens not to vote for “executioner” Duterte.

How Aquino has fueled organized crime
Those campaign moves by Duterte’s rivals show that his six-month deadline to eradicate lawlessness has won widespread support. But having slashed crime in one city, the mayor himself knows doing it nationwide isn’t quick and easy.

Certainly, zero crime and sleaze is impossible, but it can be drastically reduced, especially by reversing the growth momenturm of lawlessness under Aquino.

Back in 2010, crime actually dropped, from half a million incidents the year before to 324,083. It seemed to continue declining in 2011 and 2012 — until police chiefs were caught fudging statistics. Based on corrected figures, lawlessness actually soared.

The next leader should aim to reverse that escalating trend. How?

To find solutions, figure out root causes first. What has fueled the explosion in lawlessness is the massive funds flowing into lawless groups from the trebling of jueteng and smuggling under Aquino — enabling crooks to expand manpower, faciltiies, weaponry, and government connections.

Take illegal gambling. Aquino could have wiped it out by letting then Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo use the police to replicate nationwide his eradication of jueteng in Naga City when he was mayor.

But Aquino took the PNP away from Robredo and put it under his shooting buddy, then Undersecretary Rico Puno, whom gambling fighter Archbishop Oscar Cruz accused of being an “ultimate recipient” of jueteng payoffs.

With illicit lotteries spared from crackdown, syndicates flourished on gaming gains. Aquino did the same with contraband. As with jueteng, he had the right man to stop smuggling: former tax and customs commissioner Guillermo Parayno.

A PMA magna cum laude graduate with master’s degrees from the Asian Institute of Management and the University of the Philippines, the retired navy commander made the Bureau of Customs far more efficient and far less corrupt during the Ramos administration. With his BoC success, the International Monetary Fund hired Parayno as consultant on customs reform.

Aquino interviewed him for the customs job, but gave it to others, then looked away as smuggling skyrocketed. The undeclared or underdeclared value of imports tripled from $7.9 billion in 2009 to $26.6 billion in 2014, based on IMF Direction of Trade Statistics. DTS compares exports to the Philippines reported by our trading partners, with imports tallied by BoC. The difference is smuggling.

And when more than 2,000 containers disappeared in 2011, Aquino never had it investigated, though it was so easy to pinpoint who kept releasing cargo boxes after hundreds vanished. Instead, when one deputy commissioner raised the alarm after 600 were gone, Malacañang suspended him on graft charges.

Estimated at P4 trillion under Aquino (see, smuggling funnels more billions to lawless groups. Plus it lets guns and drugs flood in, as his 2013 State of the Nation Address admitted. Imagine the firearms and narcotics one vanished container can carry.

Slashing crime and sleaze therefore demands, first and foremost, shutting the jueteng and smuggling gushers enriching lawless groups.

(The second part will run on Thursday.)


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. Federico Lojo on

    Eradicating criminality in six months, as promised by Duterte, is never achievable as long as poverty exists. Duterte must realize that criminality is an effect rather than a cause. Focusing on a wrong premise will only produce unwanted results and unachievable promise. Uneducated electorate are just taken in for a ride. Education is the only solution to combat poverty hence criminality. Duterte brand of leadership is out of sync with the modern globalization development.

    • Education is part of the solution but it’s a long-term solution. How long do you think will education effect real change among the population? I doubt you can achieve much change even after 1 year of going to school especially considering that our public school system is in shambles right now. So you would need at least a year to improve it, another year to only start to see miniscule effects, and so on. Before you know it, so many years has passed by and we’re overrun by criminality and corruption!

  2. Triple the number of police, increase triple salary of police , hire competent police captains, hire more judges, double their salaries, check their case inventories , maximum 6 months for each case. These will diminish crimes but to abolish crime is impossible. It is also impossible to eradicate corruption in our government. This is reality.

  3. The kabarilan is Ronnie Puno. Even the news item created a blunder. Rico Puno is my singing idol and he was never an undersecretary or a secretary of any government department.

    • May Rico Puno po na di kasinguapo ng Rico J na magaling kumanta.Noong araw daw ay “hawi boy” ito ng isang Congressman.

      Ito ang Rico Puno na kamukha nila Erice at Almendras. Nakapagtataka nga kung bakit magkakahawig ang mga BFF nung kabarilan nila.

  4. The first thing that a president will do if they want a decrease in crime rate is to totally eradicate drugs pero sa dami ng protector na nkkinabang sa drug business mhhirapan ka. U cant eradicate prohibited drugs in 3 to 6 months. Thats not doable.

  5. Actually Pres. Marcos drove drug lords in one day by executing a Chinese drug lord by firing squad as an example.

    Even without death penalty, there many ways of catching a mice.

  6. Duterte’s unrealistic promised to eradicate crimes within 3-6 months won’t happen. Davao city is just a minuscule city comparing it to the whole Philippines as a whole. Criminals can’t be eradicated at all. I will bet in it,even after Duterte’s term is over, it ain’t stop. Only fools will believe it. If he’ll promise to do his best to drastically reduce crime, I might agree with him, but eradicating all criminals in the Philippines, don’t be dupe by false promises. Btw how could anyone vote for the guy who sleeps with different women,you don’t know how many first ladies he’s gonna present to the citizens (lalong bababuyin ang palacio) at mapagmura pa, anong claseng presidente si Dudirty?

  7. Jerome Suarez on

    Now you found out the result of abolishing death penalty.

    Others say that it will not deter crimes. yes that’s true but it will prevent a lot of people from doing it.

    crime surge is also the result of successful Phil. Catholic Church’s opposition to any government plan to control the population growth before PNOY approved the RH law.

    The Catholic Church of the Philippines just want the masses to produce children so that many children will study to their schools, become acolytes and will give contributions on masses.

    the bishops and priests in the country are mostly incompetent because of boring sermons almost and corrupt who accepted bribes as donations from crooked politicians.

    Marcos regime with alleged corruption to some of its critics (even until today Imelda was never incarcerated or found guilty on the charges filed by Cory regime) is still peaceful than the post EDSA 1 Philippines.

    at least during the Marcos regime, drug lord is shown being shot lived on TV to serve as a reminder that any of the kind like this will suffer the same fate.

    there is only 1 drug lord in the Marcos regime. now there are many drug lords in the post EDSA 1 era where they live like kings and even manufacture drugs in the jails where they stay after being arrested and found guilty of the crime.

  8. Johnny Ramos on

    I hope the final results of the coming elections should respected and accepted by all candidates. Bought buying will always be the biggest factor in this election. Since most candidates are seasoned politicians one should not cry foul when they eventually loss. Kasama yan lagi tuwing halalan so they should be prepared for this at huwag umasa na Lang sa resulta ng mga surveys. We should accept whatever results the Comelec of the results give us. Let’s not forget that majority of voters which classified as class D and E. These group can be easily persuade by the power of monies and intimidation in most areas. They easily forget their personal choice once they are fetch from their far residences going to their respective precincts. Libre sasakyan na may pagkain at pera pagkatapos bumoto. Their principles are swallowed defending on the freebees their getting on Election Day. Let us not be swayed after each elections when they protest they were cheated because as a candidate they should know it was part of unwritten rule of every election. If they never knew this game then it will be expensive lesson for not knowing. For the Comelec it is about time for us to accept whatever results because their mandate is to count and not to cheat. For those who do not believe this will always happen they better migrate because this how it is done in our country.

  9. Eradicating lawlessness in six month? A president can even do it in one month. An ambush can be arranged just as a car crash can be staged, not to mention the surgical operation with the help of Mr. Barrett or Mr. Kimber (if Mr. Ruger is not available). Just get the list of Public Enemy from the PNP, give them a warning to stop their sleaze in 15 days and return their loot to the government in 15 days and arrange their early appointment with Lucy Ferrer after 30 days.

    Another alternative would be to give a very attractive offer, say PP10M, which amount can be taken from the Intelligence Fund, for proof of death of druglords, smugglers, jueteng lords, carnappers, rapists, murderers and gun runners to include even those in the National Penitentiary who continue to do their nefarious ways even behind bars. I am sure that with the big bonanza, even their lieutenants would race against each other to do the surgical operation. I am sure the PNP has already a list of each of those guys from every city in the country.

    By the way Mr. Ricardo, it is not Rico Puno but Ronnie Puno – ang tigas ng ulo mo, I already corrected you last time.

  10. Amnata Pundit on

    Just restore the death penalty asap, execute some criminals who were already waiting in death row before GMA abolished it, and the crime rate will drop like a rock. Execute corrupt government officials and corruption will disappear. Obviously this is not a job for wimps. Duterte is my guy.

    • agree, 101%… that’s the way to do it plus the suggestion of MC above… warn, scare, arrest, reform or kill some of them one at a time… no doubt President Duterte can do it in six months or less…