The Korina Experiment
IS DAVAO CITY UNSAFE?
LET’S WALK THE TALK
By Manny Piñol
There is no doubt that administration presidential candidate Manuel Roxas III made a fool of himself by claiming that Davao City, which he praised to high heavens a few months back as a very safe city, has very serious crime and drugs problems.
It would, however, be equally foolish to counter his claim by just calling him names.
There has to be a clear and rational explanation as to why the claim of Roxas that Davao City is a dangerous place since it has the “fourth highest crime rate” in the Philippines is simply wrong.
First, let us discuss Roxas’ basis in saying that Davao City is not safe.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) which was directly under Roxas as secretary of the Interior and Local Governments until he resigned in August, reported that the Top 4 Philippine cities with the highest crime volume are: 1. Quezon City 40,433 incidents; 2. Manila 22,778; 3. Zamboanga City 19,089; and 4. Davao City 18,119.
The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) confirmed that the crime statistics for Davao City are correct.
They, however, pointed out that what was not indicated in the crime rating was the fact that of the 18,119 crime incidents reported in Davao City, only 6,548 were classified as index crimes and 11,571 were non-index crimes.
The PNP defines index crimes as crimes against persons like murder, homicide, physical injury and rape and crimes against property like robbery, theft, carnapping, carjacking and cattle rustling.
Non-index crimes, include minor misdemeanors like truancy, prostitution, and vandalism, violations of Davao City special laws against smoking in public spaces, illegal fireworks and using videokes at night, and police-initiated operations like buy-bust operations, arrests of drug pusher and addicts, raids, stings.
Roxas, in an attempt to put presidential front runner Rody Duterte in a bad light, deliberately omitted this in his statement on Davao City’s crime statistics.
Worse, Roxas, deliberately and maliciously or otherwise, also did not point out that of the total number of crime incidents reported to the Davao City police, 83.25% were solved, giving the city the highest Crime Solution Efficiency Rating in the whole country.
Compare this to the whole of Metro Manila which in 2014 had a crime volume of 25,353 and a Crime Solution Efficiency Rating of only 49.25%.
Reckon these data with the fact that Davao City is the fourth most populous city in the country with about 1.5-M people and a land area of 244,000 hectares, wide enough to accommodate four times over the whole Metro Manila which only has an area of 63,600 hectares.
Whatever Roxas says, Davao City was ranked 5th safest city in the world, improving from its ninth-place ranking last month by the crowd-sourcing survey site Numbeo.com.
Davao City has a crime index of 18.18 and a safety index of 81.82.
The city, which Duterte says is his Exhibit A in claiming that he could make the whole country safe, trails behind fourth safest city Bursa, Turkey which has a crime index of 17.66 and a safety index of 82.34.
Osaka, Japan tops the list with a safety index of 84.47, followed by Seoul, South Korea (83.42) and Singapore (83.36).
Davao City is now safer than Espoo, Finland (81.16 safety index); Bergen, Norway (80.98); Heidelberg, Germany (80.78); Coimbra, Portugal (80.68); and Stuggart, Germany (80.53).
“Numbeo.com is said to be the largest website which utilizes user-generated data on cities and countries worldwide. The website features rankings of cities in topics such as health care, cost of living, and quality of life,” according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
These figures could still be disputed by the likes of Roxas and his allies.
There is one way, however, to really establish the truth here and this is to “Walk the Talk” or what I would call as the “Korina Experiment.”
There is no intention to disrespect the beautiful Korina Sanchez-Roxas, wife of the presidential candidate, but Duterte has always bragged that his standard of safety and security in Davao City is if “your wife and daughter could walk the city side streets at night without getting mugged or robbed.”
Roxas could very well prove his point that Davao City is unsafe by asking his beautiful wife to walk the side streets of Davao City, wearing expensive jewellery and toting her signature handbag, in the middle of the night.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, it is said.
If Korina is robbed and mugged, then Roxas would be proven right and Duterte has to stop bragging about Davao City being his Exhibit A.
On the other hand, if Korina reaches the other end of the dark alley untouched, then Roxas should stop his blabber to tarnish the image of Davao City in a desperate attempt to win the Presidency.
Better still, he could just give up his Presidential ambitions and disappear into the dark alleys of Caloocan City which his friend, Cong. Erice says is safer than Davao City.
Let us see if he survives the toughies of Caloocan City.