MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday warned that there would be no letup in its campaign against crime amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak as it noted a 57-percent decline in the incidence of the eight focus crimes during the 84 days of community quarantine.

Data from the Joint Task Force Covid Shield (JTF CV Shield) showed that the number of focus crime incidents dropped to 5,652 from March 17 to June 8, from 13,004 cases from Dec. 24, 2019, to March 16 this year.

The eight focus crimes are murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft, car theft, and motorcycle theft.

Motorcycle theft posted the highest decline at 82 percent, from 88 to 16 cases; followed by car theft (81 percent) from 880 to 170; robbery (68 percent) from 2,036 to 658; theft (67 percent) from 4,246 to 1,391; rape (49 percent) from 1,738 to 885; physical injury (38 percent) from 2,171 to 1,348; murder (37 percent) from 1,486 to 932; and homicide (30 percent) from 359 to 252.

In Luzon, the total number of focus crime incidents went down by 61 percent from 6,922 to 2,720 during the same period.

In the Visayas, the rate declined by 54 percent from 3,344 to 1,546 while Mindanao saw a 49-percent decrease from 2,738 to 1,386.

“Even as we are faced with unprecedented challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the PNP remains steadfast in fulfilling our mandate to serve and protect the people, not only as police front-liners but as enforcers of peace and order,” PNP Chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, JTF CV Shield commander, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, reported that a total of 193,779 community quarantine violators were either warned, fined, or arrested.

Luzon has the highest number of violators at 126,038, while the Visayas and Mindanao had 34,370 and 33,371, respectively.

Meanwhile, police personnel, in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry, also arrested 885 persons suspected of hoarding, profiteering, or manipulating the prices of essential goods as of June 8.

“This sends a clear message to the public that there is no letup in our campaign against lawless elements. Then and now, we will go after them,” Gamboa said.

Earlier, he said the PNP would enhance personal knowledge and competency integration on health in the curriculum of different police courses and training programs.

Gamboa also bared that the PNP would enhance workspace infrastructure adjustments in all offices and vehicles and acquire new equipment, such as additional testing and personal protective equipment for all front-liners.

“I have emphasized in the past that whether it is ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine), or GCQ (general community quarantine), the PNP continues to aggressively perform law enforcement functions in support of the national campaign against, crime, illegal drugs, corruption, and terrorism,” he said.

Gamboa urged the public to cooperate with law enforcers as they draw up new guidelines and policies.

“The past months, while undoubtedly difficult, further strengthens the PNP’s resolve to fulfill our mandate as leaders, protectors, and defenders of our people. Together, we will redefine the ‘new normal’ framework, with your health and safety paramount at all times. We ask for your patience and continued cooperation — as we seek an end to the threat of this pandemic,” he added. (PNA)