Roxas challenged to improve PNP amid increasing crime rate in Metro Manila
MANILA, Philippines – Newly appointed Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas faces big challenges in his new post, especially with the reported increasing crime rate in Metro Manila, Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay said Thursday.
“It’s going to be a challenge to Roxas when he steps in as Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary because the Philippine National Police (PNP) is under him,” Magsaysay said in an interview over Radyo Inquirer 990AM.
She said that criminals were becoming smarter today and that police were getting left behind in terms of equipment, skills, and knowledge.
“Definitely criminals are becoming smarter today, [but] are the police really equipped to handle them, and do they really have the heart to go after crime syndicates that are proliferating in the country?” she said.
She said that some policemen were becoming apathetic in going after criminals. Her sister-in-law’s vehicle was stolen in broad daylight along Katipunan Avenue and the driver taken by the suspects, she recalled.
The driver, who was later released by the thieves near the airport, immediately reported the incident to the nearest police station in Paranaque. Magsaysay said that the driver was told to go back to Quezon City because that was where the crime happened.
The driver simply wanted the police to go after the suspects who were most likely still in the area, but he was not given much attention and was turned away, Magsaysay said.
“Sometimes, you can’t blame the people if they don’t want to report to police anymore because some police just view crime as a statistic,” she said.
“They no longer view it from the point of view from the victim, or what he or she was feeling … for them it’s just a statistic,” she added.
The mindset of policemen needs to be changed, “retrain them, retool them, give them additional equipment they need, so we can bring down criminality,” Magsaysay said. Their salaries should also be increased so that they would not be tempted to accept protection money from crime syndicates.
“Sometimes, because of ignorance, police would make a mistake in the process [of gathering evidence] and a judge would have no choice but to acquit a drug lord because [police] did not follow the correct procedure in handling evidence. That’s where we are losing,” Magsaysay said.
“It’s very important that the police who are on the ground should always be given training and seminars, every week if need be,” she said.
Roxas, as the new head of the DILG, should now prove to the people that he is the right man for the job, Magsaysay said.
“Sometimes there really is just the right person for the right agency,” she added.
The only way to tell if Roxas has succeeded or failed in the DILG is after he has already performed his duties, Magsaysay said.
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