By CONG B. CORRALES
NORTHERN Mindanao showed a spike in total crime volume during the second quarter of this year, an economic specialist pointed out on Tuesday.
Engr. Cecilio Clarete, chief economic development specialist of National Economic and Development Authority’s Development Research Division, pointed out that the 15.87-percent increase in the region’s total crime volume meant that the police have apprehended more criminals during the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.
“This is mainly due to the 31.7 percent increase in non-index crimes,” Clarete said. Non-index crimes, he explained, are crimes related to illegal drugs use.
Two other stark increases noted by Neda during its presentation of the region’s situation in the second quarter this year are the rise of rape and physical injury cases. Rape and physical injury cases increased by 31.34 percent and 24.46 percent, respectively.
Clarete explained that the rise of rape cases may be attributed to the fact that rape victims are “braver.”
“There were fewer rape cases reported before because the stigma of the crime attached to the victim has waned,” he said.
However, the index crimes in the region has decreased by 9.42 percent or only 1,855 crimes throughout northern Mindanao for the entire second quarter. Index crimes are murder, homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, and carnapping.
“We can attribute the decrease of index crimes to the declaration of martial law. Takot na kasi ang tao gumawa ng krimen,” Clarete pointed out.
Surprisingly, the incidence of murder and homicide across the region has decreased dramatically at 33.52 percent and 4.35 percent, respectively.
Clarete said this figure is not surprising even with the relaunching of the anti-illegal drugs campaign, Oplan Tokhang, because police in the region are more inclined to arrest drug suspects than engage them in combat.
“Kung imong mabantayan, diri sa region wala kaayo patay o ‘nanlaban’ cases. Kung naa man hinuon isolated cases lang,” Clarete said.