Drug killings now up to 11 per day

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Amid public concerns, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported an increasing number of drug suspects getting killed since President Duterte assumed office on June 30.

The PNP said the summary of the campaign against illegal drugs showed that 239 drug suspects were slain in police operations as of July 22. There were a total of 120,038 drug pushers and users who surrendered to authorities.

On July 20, the PNP reported 207 suspected drug offenders getting killed in police operations, meaning an additional 32 deaths were recorded in two days.

An average of 11 people were killed daily based on PNP statistics of 239 deaths in the first 22 days of the Duterte administration.

The constant increase in deaths of suspected drug offenders has started to generate concerns from some sectors over the manner the police are conducting anti-drug operations.

In almost all cases, the police claimed self-defense in killing the suspects.

PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent Dionardo Carlos assured the public that a proper investigation is being conducted in all police operations, particularly into incidents resulting in death of suspected drug personalities.

The PNP has noted a significant downtrend in crime volume over the last six months, which was credited to the intensified campaign against all forms of criminality through Lambat-Sibat.

PNP Director for Operations Chief Supt. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan expressed optimism that the crime volume will continue to sag as the PNP intensifies police operations against drug-related criminal activities in the succeeding months.

From a high of 52,950 registered in January 2016, the total crime volume steadily dipped by 13 percent through the 1st and 2nd Quarters of the year, down to only 46,060 crime incidents in June 2016.

In the PNP’s assessment, Cascolan said the ongoing two-pronged national anti-drug campaign under “Project Double Barrel” is expected to further boost the overall anti-crime effort, citing the correlation of drug use to other forms of index crime involving crimes against persons and crimes against property.

Over the last 21 days since the Double Barrel was implemented, the PNP has recorded a national total of 3,213 arrested drug personalities during separate operations by local and national police units.

The PNP has also implemented Oplan Tokhang, another strategy to stop illegal drug activities in the country.

Under Tokhang, or house visitations on residences of suspected drug personalities, a total of 120,038 voluntarily yielded, among them, 112,902 self-confessed drug users and 7,107 pushers.

They are now subject of further government intervention by concerned agencies.

PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa reminded policemen in the field to observe proper procedure during police operations, foremost of which is to protect and respect the human rights of every suspect.

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