Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Simpliest Anti-Crime Suggestion for SILG Mar Roxas

Yesterday, I watched the press conference of SILG Mar Roxas regarding the crime wave sweeping the country in the aftermath of the killings of race driver Enzo Pastor in Quezon City, businessman Richard King in Davao City, and Mayor Ernesto Balolong in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan.  What caught my attention was the fact that once again, Roxas betrayed his ignorance of the technicalities of his job.  He came across as somebody who is very incompetent and bumbling, and only bluffs his way through the day.  Let me be more specific.

The solution that he stressed is police visibility which is correct but the measure that he proposed is the crime statistics which is totally wrong.  This led to his wrong approach which is to model the purported crime programs of San Juan and Mandaluyong, who he said were the only jurisdictions that registered a decrease in crime incidence as compared to the others that registered increases.  It was his acceptance of the crime statistics as gospel truth that led Roxas to get it all wrong.  Worse, his seeming naiveté of the police attitude made him believe whatever the nincompoops—masquerading as top PNP executives—feed to him hook line and sinker.

As late as last year, it was found out that field commanders had been “doctoring” and “massaging” the numbers to make them look good.  But this phenomenon is nothing new.  When I started my career as a policeman, the COMPSTAT that some wiseguys in Crame boasts as their adaptation of the New York Police model in 2005 is already a staple of the PACREP that I used to prepare.  An irrefutable proof that the PNP’s COMPSTAT is not of recent origins can be seen in the COMPSTAT itself.  One of the numbers monitored in index crimes is “CATTLE RUSTLING” under crimes against property.  So, in this computer age, will cattle rustling be considered an index crimes as defined by LOI-UCPER that states that “index crimes are crimes which are serious in nature which occur with sufficient frequency and regularity such that they can serve as an index to the crime situation.”  Last year, there were less than a thousand cattle rustling incidents recorded which is just about 1% of the crime volume.  This clearly shows that the system was made during Marcos time yet where indeed cattle rustling was once rampant that it necessitated special attention.  Today, it is not cattle rustling that is a crime of concern but carnapping and these nincompoops do not even have a separate category for this.  Cars and motorcycles stolen while parked are tallied in theft and if forcibly taken from the driver, it is counted under robbery.  Thus if you look at the number under robbery, a forcibly taken motorcycle and a hold up of a student by the neighborhood toughie using a barbeque stick simply ranks the same.  Tama?  Humirit pa sila at babatukan ko na sila e.

The “doctoring” of the crime statistics actually worsened in the early 1990s in the advent of strategic planning in the PNP when another wise guy in Crame included this performance indicator in the NSAP of the PNP then named POLICE 2000: “Reduction of crime incidents by 5% every month.”  This KPI made it all the way to the finish line and was shoved down the throats of police commanders.  If this was achieved, then since the mind 90s when it was implemented, hindi lang zero na ang crime volume ngayon, may utang pa ang community in terms of crime occurrence.  Hahahaha!  Nabasa na kaya ng ungas na yun ang “Theory of Normality of Crime by Emile Durkheim” na staple ng mga textbooks ng Criminology 101?  Ay, most probably hindi.  Sigurado kasing wala yan sa PMA!  Hahahahaha.  Hay buhay.

But with that kind of KPI, what do you expect from ground commanders?  They were threatened of relief if they cannot reduce crime volume by a certain level!  Solusyon?  Masahe ng numero and not only the local media noticed.  This is what the Asia Times online said in its August 17, 2010 issue: 

“They often like to boast that they have a higher crime solution rate than their counterparts in the US and Japan. Last year the PNP claimed an 88% crime solution efficiency rate, compared to just 32% in the US and 31% in Japan. They've also reported a 57% drop in homicides and murders in the first half of this year, curiously at a time the media is awash with violent crime stories.”

Ironically, the title of the article was, “Foreigners beware in the Philippines.”   Hahahaha!  Here is the link:  http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/LH17Ae01.html

It was like that before, it is like that now.  So the crime reduction that San Juan and Mandaluyong is most probably a product of “Snowpake” rather than actual reduction of crime incidents brought about by effective police operations.  And Roxas believed them thus he directed all the other police commanders to emulate the San Juan and Madaluyong strategies.  He better beware, the stocks of “Snowpake” may run out from National Bookstore!  Additionally, Roxas was so convinced by QCPD Director General Richard Albano that the OPLAN Lambat in QCPD is also effective when in fact it is all sound bites from Albano.  The latter is so incompetent that even Mayor Herbert Bautista had already expressed his dissatisfaction with his performance some months back.

So what do I propose?  Lest I be accused of being just another critic who knows no better, let me chip in my 2 cents worth.

If I am the NCRPO Director, I will simplify everything.  So simple that there is only one measure:  number of arrests.

I will direct all Station Commanders of the numbered police stations (QCPD and MPD) and the Chiefs of Police of the other cities in NCR to make sure that they PERSONALLY sign at least 2 affidavits of arrest per week.  If they fail to do this, they will be relieved without further notice.  If 30% of the COPs and SCs fail the standard, then the District Director’s head will roll.

How sure am I that this will be effective?  Let me expound then.

Forcing the SCs and the COPs to PERSONALLY sign affidavits of arrest will force them to actually walk in the streets.  This is the main reason why policemen cannot be seen patrolling their beats nowadays: most of the time, they are just copying what their superiors do which is magkamot ng bayag sa kanilang aircon na opisina.  But this will change once this standard is forced upon them.  The COPs/SCs will be forced to walk the beats together with their men, otherwise, they will not catch anyone.  If they will continue to sit on their butts in their offices and just direct their men to catch criminals and they will just wait at the station and sign the affidavits of arrest, there is no assurance that their men will improve their efficiency.  It is not the PNCOs' neck on the chopping board after all! 

Some quarters may say that using the affidavits of arrests as standard of performance may force policemen to arbitrarily arrest anybody just to cope up with the quota.  Yes this is possible but nothing prevents the aggrieved parties from seeking redress in the numerous disciplinary authorities that exercise oversight functions over the PNP.  They can haul such policemen to the Ombudsman, IAS, PLEB, and many other forums.  Thus, policemen cannot just arrest anyone on their whims and caprices.  This standard will force them to toe the line even more.  And for the COPs and Station Commanders, this is another compelling reason that they need to be personally present when the suspect is arrested.  They have to have that personal knowledge of the circumstances of arrest for the expected proceedings later on, whether as prosecution witness in the criminal trial against the suspect or as defense witness for themselves if the suspect or his family files an administrative complaint against them.

For those who are applying to be Station Commanders and Chiefs of Police, I will require them to present 15 affidavits of arrest before I will even look at their applications.  This will force them to get lower positions such as chief of patrol section where they can actually walk the streets and get a chance to literally run after criminals.  This will eliminate the very common scenario nowadays that an officer, just because he is the golfing buddy of the boss because he is the finance officer, suddenly becomes a field commander.  There are many Provincial Directors now that have this background.  And we wonder why they are at a loss if riding in tandem criminals strike with impunity in their areas?

Simple?  The PNP can try it!  But do not be surprised if you find out that even at the top echelons, you will find generals who had not even seen a court in session, much less being a part of it as a witness or as an accused!

2 comments:

  1. Link16: why just officers? i suggest to include PNCOs too should have same requirement / "quota" and when they fail to deliver continously for a certain period of time, make it a ground for their having no "PBBonus" to receive and eventually separation in service.

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    1. Opo, PNCOs should be included. But I would like to see the PNP start with the PCOs because if the PCOs are pressured to deliver, they have no recourse but to in turn pressure their men to do the same. And the best pressure for the PNCOs is seeing their COP actually doing the street patrolling with them.

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