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    Posted August 1, 2014 by

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    Phl lawmakers divided on peace and order

    MEMBERS of the House of Representatives are divided on their views on the State of the of the Nation Address (SONA) report of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, specifically on the peace and order situation in the country.
    In his SONA, the President said the image of the police has changed, and that the rate of murder and homicide cases in Metro Manila dropped by 29 percent during the five weeks of "Operation Fishnet."
    He cited that before "Operation Fishnet," from January to the second week of June, the rate of murder and homicide cases in Metro Manila reached up to 31 cases a week, but this dropped to only 22 cases per week during the five weeks of "Operation Fishnet." "Operation Fishnet" aims to decrease crime incidents perpetrated by motorcycle-riding outlaws.
    Rep. Samuel Pagdilao of ACT-CIS and vice chairman of the Committee on Public Order and Security, said the figures presented by the President refers only to murder which is one among many crimes (robbery, theft, rape, homicide, drugs, among others) that are used as index to determine the peace and order situation obtaining in the country.
    "The overall crime index as reported had increased, and the people's perception about the crime situation in the country is neither positive nor optimistic and obviously, this has the same translation or effect on the image of the police," said Pagdilao, a former police official.
    He said even one murder is one too many especially if it remains unsolved.
    "That is why my priority is to pass the modernization bill of the Philippine National Police to enable the PNP to have the means, ways, heart and the organization to fight and beat crimes," said Pagdilao.
    Rep. Rodolfo T. Albano III of Isabela province said the public should respect the President's report.
    "We have to take the word of the President on that. Unless proven otherwise," said Albano, a member of the House minority.
    Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo of Valenzuela City said while the administration has recorded accomplishments in the fight against criminality, much remains to be done to maintain peace and order in the country.
    "There are gains but the room for improvement remains large," said Gunigundo.
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