In this Sept. 27, 2016 photo, police examine the rope-bound body of an unidentified man who police believe was a victim in a drug-related killing in suburban Navotas, north of Manila, Philippines. The man was found floating before dawn in a pumping station under a bridge in the early morning. More than 3,000 suspected drug dealers and users have been killed since July and more than 600,000 others have surrendered for fear of being killed in President Rodrigo Duterte's unrelenting anti-drug campaign. AP/Bullit Marquez, File photo

Record set: 21 alleged drug offenders killed in one day
(Associated Press) - August 15, 2017 - 3:54am

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 2, 12:30 p.m.) — Simultaneous anti-drug operations in a northern province have left 21 alleged drug offenders dead, police said Tuesday. They called it the highest death toll in a single day since President Rodrigo Duterte launched his 'war on drugs' in July last year.

Senior Superintendent Romeo M. Caramat Jr. said operations in various parts of Bulacan province in the past 24 hours left 21 dead and 64 others arrested. Police said the suspects had offered armed resistance against arresting officers.

Caramat said police seized 21 firearms and more than 100 grams of methamphetamine, more popularly known in the Philippines as shabu, worth 500,000 pesos ($9,800). Cash and assorted drug paraphernalia were also recovered.

Police records show since the crackdown started, 3,264 alleged drug offenders have been killed in gunbattles with law enforcers. More than 2,000 others died in drug-related homicides, including attacks by motorcycle-riding masked gunmen and other assaults.

Human rights groups report a higher toll and demand an independent investigation into Duterte's possible role in the violence.

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