MANILA, FEBRUARY 17, 2014 (MANILA STANDARD) YEARS from now when the haze of media-driven hype and bogus opinion polls has lifted, we will remember the Aquino administration as a delusional government, more concerned with perception than true service to the people.

A shining example of this comes from Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima, who writes off a surge in crime to a change in the way the police gather their statistics.

“We have reported the true crime rate, this is the true crime picture,” the police chief has been quoted as saying. “[In the past], there have been some efforts to lower the crime stats. Now, we are just truthful.”

By the PNP’s own count, there were 1.03 million crimes committed in 2013, or almost 3,000 crimes a day. This was almost five times the 217,812 crimes that the PNP reported in 2012.

In the face of these grim numbers, the police chief insists that are not in the middle of a crime wave. He offers no statistical bases for making this claim, however, and attributes his conclusion to “personal observation.”

“I don’t see that it has gone up. It’s the same thing. Actually, it’s more peaceful now than it was in the past,” Purisima said.

From this statement, we can only conclude that the police chief neither listens to the news nor reads the newspapers, which are filled daily with reports of brazen daytime robberies, motorcycle-riding criminals who prey on law-abiding citizens with impunity, and a growing number of grizzly shooting deaths.

When compelled to confront these problems, the police chief offers no cohesive strategy to curb motorcycle-enabled crime or to reduce the number of firearms in the hands of trigger-happy criminals.

This helplessness mirrors the inability –or unwillingness—of other government agencies to do their jobs and to impose order.

We see this in the lack of action on the part of the Bureau of Customs to curb what everyone acknowledges as rampant rice smuggling.

We also see this in the inability of the traffic authorities to impose order on the streets, and to ensure that the commuting public is safe from buses that all too regularly become coffins on wheels.

It is also reflected in this government’s continued failure to protect consumers from monopolistic behavior.

The administration’s answer to all these problems is public relations and denial.

In this regard, President Benigno Aquino III leads by example, denying that serious ills plague the nation and insisting that all is well and good under his watch.

One day soon, however, that bubble too will burst, and a true accounting will have to be made.

By then, the inept police chief will no longer be able to hide behind this administration’s penchant for delusion and denial.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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