Results of a Dec. 16-19, 2018 Social Weather Stations poll of 1,440 adults showed 66 percent of Filipinos saying the number of drug users in their community decreased. Fourteen percent said it increased while the rest said it was unchanged.
The STAR/Miguel De Guzman, File photo
Palace to drug war critics: Stop playing blind dumb
(philstar.com) - February 16, 2019 - 5:40pm

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Saturday said critics of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs should “stop playing blind dumb and instead listen to the people” in response to a new opinion poll showing majority of Filipinos see fewer drug addicts in their area.

Results of a Dec. 16-19, 2018 Social Weather Stations poll of 1,440 adults showed 66 percent of Filipinos saying the number of drug users in their community decreased. Fourteen percent said it increased while the rest said it was unchanged.

The same poll also found 95 percent of adult Filipinos said it is “important” for them that the police capture illegal drug suspects alive — steady since the survey question was asked to respondents in June 2018.

In a statement, the Palace slammed critics of the government who “have been most vocal in using the drug war to vilify the chief executive and his administration.”

“They remain sceptical, unimpressed and indifferent of the significant strides made by our authorities in relation to prohibited narcotics even pointing out there remains demand and supply on illegal drugs,” Malacañang said.

“Even as our people acknowledge the administration’s efforts to bring down the number of drug personalities, our focus and drive remain unwavering in destroying the drug apparatus and putting behind bars drug pushers, with strict observance to operational protocols, until the last day of the president’s term of office in 2022,” it added.

President Rodrigo Duterte, a former city mayor, beat his more moneyed rivals and won the race to Malacañang in 2016 promising to eradicate crime and solve his country’s drug menace in three to six months.

He later sought a six-month extension to his drug crackdown, saying he was shocked by the magnitude of the problem when he became president.

Human rights watchdogs at home and abroad say most of the fatalities in the government’s anti-narcotic drive are extrajudicial killings committed by cops, something the Duterte administration has vehemently denied. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral

RODRIGO DUTERTE WAR ON DRUGS
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