Drug war death toll  hits 6,847
A total 256,536 drug offenders were arrested in 163,767 police operations nationwide. The data also showed that 1,284,492 drug pushers and users surrendered in the government’s Oplan Tokhang campaign.
Miguel de Guzman
Drug war death toll hits 6,847
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - August 16, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) said at least 6,847 suspected drug offenders have been killed in alleged shootouts with lawmen in President Duterte’s war on illegal drugs from July 1, 2016 to July 31 this year.

A total 256,536 drug offenders were arrested in 163,767 police operations nationwide. The data also showed that 1,284,492 drug pushers and users surrendered in the government’s Oplan Tokhang campaign.

Since the start of Duterte’s presidency, a total of 1,547,895 drug suspects have been accounted for.

The numbers were presented yesterday during the National Summit on Crime Prevention at the Manila Hotel.

The figure is higher compared to the 5,526 drug suspects killed in anti-narcotics operations reported by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) last month.

PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac has previously said that their figures need to be cross-checked with the data gathered by the

PDEA, the lead agency in the anti-illegal drugs campaign.

The two-day anti-crime summit spearheaded by the National Police Commission (Napolcom) serves as a forum to assess the prevailing crime situation in the country, monitor the extent of the implementation of government projects, and formulate strategies that will benefit the community.

The summit’s objective is to rationalize the framework for crime prevention in the next three years based on the policy guidelines of President Duterte.

The Napolcom had started to rationalize the framework for crime prevention in the last three years of the administration.

Napolcom vice chairman and executive officer Rogelio Casurao said the two-day summit served as a forum to assess the prevailing crime situation in the country.

“This is pursuant to a presidential directive that seeks to end all forms of lawlessness in the country,” Casurao said. 

The two-day summit will end today with the presentation of policy recommendations and closing statements to be delivered by Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

The Napolcom said the summit seeks to rationalize the framework for crime prevention for the next three years based on the policy guidelines of the President and prepare the National Crime Prevention Program (NCPP) for 2020.

The framework seeks to address policy directions on crime prevention, corruption, criminal justice, counter-insurgency, drug abuse and control and counterterrorism.

Participants in the summit include members of the Napolcom Technical Committee on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

The committee is composed of representatives from the five pillars of the criminal justice system: law enforcement, prosecution, courts, corrections and community, and other sectors of society.

Casurao said the annual NCPP is submitted to the President within 60 days before the commencement of each calendar year.

The Napolcom is mandated by Republic Act 6975 and RA 8551 or the PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, to develop an annual NCPP with the assistance and cooperation of the agencies operating under the five pillars of criminal justice.

PUP drug test

Various youth organizations at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Manila denounced yesterday the reported implementation of the mandatory random drug testing for students at the university’s College of Engineering.

Student publication The Engineering Spectrum, posting updates on its social media accounts, said members of the local chapters of youth organizations Gabriela Youth, Anakbayan and the League of Filipino Students mobilized at the PUP Mabini campus in Manila to condemn the implementation of the policy.

It reported that 40 students from the College of Engineering were sent to the Mabini campus for testing after they were randomly called from their classes yesterday morning.

Various youth organizations, both from PUP and other universities, condemned the conduct of mandatory random drug testing.

The National Union of Students of the Philippines said the drug testing was implemented despite the ongoing process to revise the student handbook that provides for its guidelines.

“On top of giving the College of Engineering Council Board a late notice, the admin also did not provide a waiver to notify the parents and request their consent,” said the group.

“It cannot be denied that mandatory random drug testing in schools is just another avenue for the war on drugs to be waged in campuses. As the union stated before, in a political climate in which vigilante killing supersedes due process, everyone can be a victim,” it added.

Kabataan party-list, meanwhile, said the policy would supposedly institutionalize Oplan Tokhang – the moniker of the government’s deadly war against illegal drugs – inside schools and universities.

“This also serves as a risk to the security and privacy of the students and will do nothing in addressing the root causes of dangerous drugs and criminality in the country,” it added.

The PUP administration has yet to issue a statement on the matter.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) earlier directed all tertiary institutions to implement mandatory random drug testing on students in line with the provisions of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

CHED chairman J. Prospero de Vera III said the guidelines aim to promote “drug-free” campuses and further the legitimate interest of the government in preventing and deterring dangerous drug use among the youth.

He said the memorandum would ensure that drug testing policies of higher education institutions are reasonable and not violative of the fundamental rights of students.  With Neil Servallos, Janvic Mateo

PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE RODRIGO DUTERTE
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