PNP sorry for Naga crime rate boo-boo
Philippine National Police spokesperson Senior Supt. Benigno Durana has owned up to the mistake of tagging Naga City, the hometown of opposition figurehead and Vice President Leni Robredo, as the fifth top crime-prone city in the country.
In a press conference last week to clarify some perceived misquotes in news reports that day, PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde said Naga City was “consistent” as having the fifth highest crime volume and fifth highest number of index crimes for 2017 and 2018.
After the documents Albayalde had cited were released to the media, however, it soon became apparent the PNP chief had mistaken the region number for the ranking. The list of 36 highly urbanized and independent component cities had been arranged by region.
Naga City is in Bicol, Region 5.
This was why when Albayalde was asked to name the five cities with the highest crime rate, he had enumerated them consecutively by region—Region 2’s Santiago City, Isabela; Region 3’s Angeles City in Pampanga and Olongapo City in Zambales; Region 4-B’s Puerto Princesa City in Palawan; and Region 5’s Naga City.
It was Durana who gave Albayalde the document that the PNP chief read out.
President Duterte had claimed Naga was a “hotbed” of “shabu” (crystal meth). Since the PNP was still collating the drug data for the cities, Albayalde sought to back the President’s claim through the crime data.
“If the assumption is that crime and drugs are interrelated, we can rightfully make our own conclusion,” the PNP chief said.
In posts on her official Twitter account, Robredo—one of many officials who had already been decrying the “shabu hotbed” tag on Naga—called the PNP’s mistake “totally unacceptable.”
“Spare our people and our beloved city from misinformation,” Robredo said.
On Friday, Durana apologized for Albayalde’s mix-up.
“My sincere apology [for] this oversight and whatever inconvenience it may have caused in which I, as [PNP’s] acting chief [public information officer], [am] solely responsible,” he said.
However, he said that among 36 cities, Naga City “posted the highest average monthly crime rate” from January to July 2018, followed by Mandaue City, Iloilo City, Santiago City and Cebu City.
Naga City’s monthly crime rate for the first half of the year was 202.80. Crime rate refers to the number of crime victims per 100,000 people in a given locality.
“It will validate [the President’s statement] even more because crime rate is a more accurate assessment of a crime situation of a given locality,” Durana said.
Durana also insisted that if Metro Manila cities were not considered on the list, Naga City would rank sixth in total crime volume and second in index crime volume for the first half of the year.
If Metro Manila cities were included in the ranking, however, Naga, with a crime volume of 2,879, would rank only 16th out of 36 cities. The top three cities with the highest crime volume were Quezon City with 22,019 followed by Manila with 12,424 and Cebu City with 6,324.
Naga comes right after the President’s hometown, Davao City, which ranked 15th with a total crime volume of 3,071.
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