No spin in crime rate in SONA, says Palace
MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang denied Tuesday President Aquino deliberately omitted the negative in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) and highlighted only the positive.
The President said crime incidents have gone down since he assumed office, citing figures only up to 2011. But statistics provided by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) show that the crime rate in the National Capital Region (NCR) increased in the first six months of 2012.
In the SONA, Aquino cited the following statistics: crime incidents down from over 500,000 in 2009 to 246,958 in 2011; and carjackings down from 2,200 in 2010 to 966 in 2011.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte acknowledged the existence of the 2012 figures on crime incidents but said this could not yet be cited since it is still “incomplete” and that this could not be compared with figures from the previous year.
“The figures are incomplete. Doon sa NCR po, tumaas siya. Pero overall, mababa pa rin po ang figures natin. Ang sinasabi lang po natin, hindi po magiging apples-to-apples ang comparison kung gagamitin mong buo ang datos ng 2009, buo ang datos ng 2012, buo ang datos ng 2011, ang 2012 hindi pa tapos. Tignan po natin. Ang gusto po natin ma-arrest ang sinasabi n’yong decline for 2012 na incomplete pa ang data,” Valte told reporters.
Asked why the President cited increased tourist arrivals as of June 2012 and did not cite the crime rate as of the first half of the year, Valte said various indicators are measured differently.
“Depends on what you are looking at. Kasi ‘yung crime rate, hindi quarterly ang pag-measure natin d’yan e. Ang gusto lang natin dito is one, i-highlight natin kung ano na ang magandang nangyari mula doon sa nakaraang taon. Hindi naman po ibig sabihin ini-ignore na natin ‘yung mga areas na kailangan pa po ng improvement,” she said.
“Hindi po natin inii-slant, hindi po natin spini-spin. Kaya nga po very categorical, very clear ang Pangulo kung ano ho ang period na kino-cover ng mga datos niya.”
But a check of the PNP website shows that the police provides quarterly statistics of crime.
A report on its website on the first quarter says, “Crime statistics provided by the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) indicate a 16.77% decline in the country’s Total Crime Volume recorded in January-March of year 2012, compared with the First Quarter 2011 crime record.”
“Index crime incidents that made up 61.14 % of the Total Crime Volume dipped 19.86% from the 42,479 cases in Q1 2011 down to 34,043 cases in Q1 of 2012, according to PNP Spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Agrimero A Cruz Jr.”
Meantime, only crime statistics as of September 2011 have been uploaded to the NCRPO website, as of press time.
Valte said the omission of the 2012 in the President’s SONA of the latest crime rate data does not mean that the President is not aware of the situation.
“It does not mean the President is not aware of the state of the nation. Far from it. Pinapakita po ng Pangulo ang general downtrend na bumababa ang crime rate po natin, especially in particular areas,” she said.