Filipinos victimized by crime and violence had dropped drastically this year indicating an improved public order, results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.
The SWS survey showed 5.3 percent of respondents which is equivalent to 1.2 million families report being a victim of common crimes in the past six months.
Despite the improved situation on peace and safety, critics of President Rodrigo Duterte indicated plans to hold protest rallies supposedly against a looming dictatorship timed with the commemoration of the martial law declaration of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Protesters billed the mass action as an “anti-dictatorship” protest.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, meanwhile, said Mr. Duterte met with intelligence officials last Wednesday ahead of the 46th anniversary of the military rule declaration.
SWS said the incidence of common crimes such as pickpocket or robbery of personal property, break-ins, carnapping and physical violence had dropped.
“This is 1.3 points below the 6.6 percent in March 2018 and the lowest since the record-low 3.7 percent in June 2017,” the SWS said.
Acts of violence fall
The survey also found a record-low 0.2 percent of families reporting that a member was hurt by physical violence within the past six months.
This is 0.4 point lower than 0.6 percent in March 2018 and is 0.1 point below the previous record-low of 0.3 percent in June 2011 and June 2014.
Of those who reported to have family members who had been victims of physical violence, the respondents said the victim was male.
The survey, conducted in June, also found 5.1 percent or around 1.2 million families lost property to street robbery, burglars (break-ins) or carnappers within the past six months.
This is a point below the 6.1 percent in March 2018 and lowest since the record-low 3.1 percent in June 2017.
Up to 61 percent of those who said a family member was a victim of pickpocketing or robbery of personal property said the victims were women.
Fear of crime subsides
Families fearing burglaries fell by 12 points in Mindanao, from 54 percent in March 2018 to 42 percent in June 2018, the lowest since the 40 percent in September 2007.
Fear of burglaries, however, hardly changed in the Visayas, from 52 percent in March to 53 percent in June and rose by 9 points in Metro Manila, from 60 percent in March to 69 percent in June and in Luzon, from 52 percent in March to 58 percent in June.
Fear of unsafe streets went down in Mindanao, hardly changed in the Visayas and Metro Manila, but rose in Luzon.
Families fearing the presence of many drug addicts in their area fell by four points in Visayas, from 41 percent March 2018 to 37 percent in June 2018.
This perception slightly rose in Balance Luzon, from 39 percent in March to 40 percent in June and increased by 5 points in Mindanao, from 33 percent in March to 38 percent in June.
It likewise rose by three points in Metro Manila, from 51 percent in March to 54 percent in June.
Crime rate down
“The crime rate is lower and the people themselves are saying so,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.
“We welcome the good news that property crime or that includes street robbery, burglars, break-in, carnapping and others fell to 5.1 percent in June 2018 compared to 6.1 percent in March 2018,” he added.
Roque also welcomed the record low 0.2 percent of families with members hurt by physical violence within the past six months.
The Second Quarter 2018 SWS survey was conducted from June 27-30, 2018 through interviews of 1,200 adults aged 18 years old and above nationwide: 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The SWS report noted that the victimization by common crimes reported in SWS surveys is usually much higher than the number of crimes actually reported to the police.
The Duterte administration has earlier vowed to crack down on illegal drugs and criminality in the country.
Gov’t can deal with plots
Roque also expressed confidence that the government would be able to deal with any destabilization plot. Duterte said the military and police will have to eventually face the “crisis.”
“It’s not anything that the State cannot deal with; dream on to those who want to remove the President,” Roque said.
The President’s meeting with intelligence officers came in the wake of Duterte’s allegation of a destabilization plot by the opposition Liberal Party, communist rebels and Magdalo group of opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on 21 September, when the nation marks the anniversary of Marcos’ martial rule.