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Herminio Viterbo Jr., National Competitiveness Council program officer and Department of Trade and Industry senior development specialist, gives a briefing on the frequently asked questions about the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index Project during a forum at the National Economic and Development Authority regional office here on Tuesday. Cagayan de Oro ranks 10th. (photo by cong b. corrales)

Neda bares surge in crimes, arrests

By CONG B. CORRALES
Associate Editor

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.

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About Cong Corrales

Before joining the Gold Star Daily, Cong worked as the deputy director of the multimedia desk of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), and before that he served as a writing fellow of Vera Files. Under the pen name "Cong," Leonardo Vicente B. Corrales has worked as a journalist since 2008. Corrales has published news, in-depth, investigative and feature articles on agrarian reform, peace and dialogue initiatives, climate justice, and socio-economics in local and international news organizations, which which includes among others: Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business World, MindaNews, Interaksyon.com, Agence France-Presse, Xinhua News Wires, Thomson-Reuters News Wires, UCANews.com, and Pecojon-PH.

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