MANILA, Philippines – An average of 30 people have been killed daily in the past 167 days under the Duterte administration’s intensified campaign against criminality, especially the illegal drug trade.
Records from the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed 2,102 drug pushers and users killed after allegedly fighting it out with police, and 2,886 others getting killed under sketchy circumstances and whose cases are listed as “death under investigation” or DUI.
The reported deaths totaled 4,988 in less than six months.
The PNP National Operations Center (NOC) also reported that a total of 40,932 drug pushers and users were arrested from July 1 to Dec. 14 under Project Double Barrel.
Police also reported that a total of 908,244 individuals – 70,848 pushers and 837,396 users – surrendered after they were visited by police.
More than five million houses of suspected drug offenders have been visited by law enforcers under Project Tokhang.
“DUIs are cases of murder pending investigation and are not automatically connected with the campaign against drugs,” the PNP said.
While President Duterte has claimed an average of two policemen getting killed daily in the campaign against illegal drugs, PNP records showed only 19 law enforcers killed and 55 others wounded since July 1.
Last July, PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa claimed common crimes like murder, homicide, rape and robbery have declined due to an intensified drive against criminality.
Dela Rosa vowed to keep up the momentum of the campaign against illegal drugs to ensure greater public safety.
EJK probe body
Meanwhile, Sen. Panfilo Lacson suggested yesterday to President Duterte the creation of a task group to investigate extrajudicial killings and pursue their perpetrators.
Lacson said the formation of such a special group would make Duterte’s assertion that he was against summary executions credible to the public.
The senator proposed a special composite team of intelligence and investigative personnel from the PNP, National Bureau of Investigation and the Armed Forces “to vigorously address and solve the almost 4,000 DUIs or vigilante-style killings and subsequently put a stop to other similar incidents.”
“Then and only then will we believe his earnest desire to stop those killings,” Lacson said.
He said the extrajudicial killings do not speak well of the anti-crime campaign of the administration.
The senator’s proposal came as the Senate has yet to vote on the report of the committee on justice clearing Duterte of any involvement in the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug pushers.
The report was prepared by Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the panel, and Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs.
The two panels conducted an inquiry into the extrajudicial killings that accompanied Duterte’s war on drugs.
Apart from Gordon and Lacson, the other senators who signed the report were Nancy Binay, Alan Peter Cayetano, Franklin Drilon, Gregorio Honasan, Manny Pacquiao, Francisco Pangilinan, Vicente Sotto III and Juan Miguel Zubiri. – With Paolo Romero
Tags: DUIs, Duterte, Duterte's war on drugs, extrajudicial killings, homicide, investigate extrajudicial killings, Murder, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, Philippines, PNP, PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa, police killings, President Duterte, rape, Richard Gordon, robbery, Summary executions, vigilante-style killings