Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said the PNP is hopeful of accounting for a million drug personalities before 2016 ends, though statistics showed over 1.022 million drug personalities were either killed by lawmen, arrested, had surrendered or killed by suspected vigilante groups. File photo

PNP targets 1 M drug suspects by yearend
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - December 26, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The government campaign against illegal drugs is almost in the homestretch with 65 percent of demand and 85 percent supply having been addressed, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa said the PNP is hopeful of accounting for a million drug personalities before 2016 ends, though statistics showed over 1.022 million drug personalities were either killed by lawmen, arrested, had surrendered or killed by suspected vigilante groups.

President Duterte estimated about 3.8 million Filipinos are hooked on drugs as he reiterated his commitment to prioritize the effort to end the drug menace in the country.

Dela Rosa said that in the event the PNP fails to meet its self-imposed target, the police would use the six-month extension to address the problem on illegal drugs.

The PNP, the government agency at the forefront of the anti-illegal drugs, reported that almost 6,000 people were killed in almost six months since Duterte took office.

From July 1 to Dec. 25, the PNP’s “double barrel alpha” project reported that 2,150 drug pushers and users were killed in shooting it out with lawmen. The PNP said 2,928 others were killed from July 1 to Dec. 15 by suspected vigilante groups. The killings were classified as “deaths under investigation.”

The PNP said 42,470 drug personalities were arrested in 39,967 anti-drug operations in almost six months of the Duterte administration.

Police reported that 977,430 drug personalities, including 74,545 pushers and 902,885 users surrendered after 5,665,584 operations in Oplan Tokhang.

The PNP records showed 21 policemen were killed and 60 others wounded during operations nationwide as reported by police regional offices.

As killings of suspected drug offenders and other lawbreakers continue, Dela Rosa is seeking divine forgiveness.

“Sorry Lord, forgive us, but all I can say is we’re doing this not for ourselves or for whatever purpose – not for our personal gain, but for the future of our nation,” Dela Rosa said in Filipino.

He said policemen who kill drug suspects also need prayers.

While admitting that policemen have no right to kill people, some of them end up killing suspects in situations beyond their control, Dela Rosa explained.

“The Christmas gift we’re wishing for policemen is prayer for the Lord’s forgiveness. Even if those who have died are bad, they are still people, they are still human beings and they still deserve to live and we have no right to take their lives – but things happen because we don’t have complete control of the situation,” Dela Rosa said.

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