AMID ANTI-DRUG CAMPAIGN
    CL crimes down by 50%, murders up by 60% in July

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    CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga- Central Luzon police director Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino noted here yesterday a strong correlation between illegal drugs and criminality, as he reported a 50 percent decrease in various forms of crimes in his region in contrast to 60 percent rise in murder cases, often involving anti-drug vigilantes, since Pres. Duterte assumed post last July 1.

    “The statistics so far this July alone is unprecedented. It seems to indicate that most crimes being committed in the region have drug users or pushers as culprits,” Aquino said in an interview here.

    The July statistics on crimes in Central Luzon was not immediately on hand, but Aquino recalled that cases of rapes went down by as much as 40 percent this month. “This seems to indicate that most of the rapists were drugcrazed,” he said.

    He noted, however, that murder cases shot up by 60 percent, involving mostly vigilante killings of purported dealers of illegal drugs. The cases do not involve those killed in legitimate anti-illegal drugs operations of the police, he added.

    Aquino also noted that regional police used to have at least 800 people in their watchlist of illegal drug peddlers and users in Central Luzon. “That is why it came as a surprise that so far, about 35,000 self-confessed drug pushers and users have already surrendered to the police in the region,” he noted.

    “We expect more drug pushers and users to surrender,” he added.

    He also said that in the campaign to rid the police force of elements suspected to be illegal drug peddlers and users, 83 of 100 cops in his list have been reassigned to far fl ung areas in Mindanao. “There were only 83 because the others went AWOL (absence without leave) or resigned,” he reported.

    Aquino said the 83 cops form only the “fi rst wave” of those who would be reassigned amid reports of their involvement in illegal drugs.

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