MANILA, Philippines – At least 39 people were killed in police operations during Holy Week as Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa proved true to his word that there would be no Lenten break in the war on drugs.
The PNP National Monitoring Center reported a total of 131 persons killed during operations against illegal drugs from March 1 to April 16 or in the last 47 days.
Of that number, 39 were killed in the government campaign in the last nine days or from April 7 to 16. This brought the average to four deaths daily.
In the report, 92 people were killed – an average of 2.4 individuals per day – since the PNP conducted Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded from March 1 to April 7.
Although the Roman Catholic church started observing the Holy Week on April 9, Palm Sunday, Dela Rosa warned drug pushers and addicts that the war against illegal drugs would continue.
“No, it won’t stop. Continuous, no letup,” said Dela Rosa, who was quick to clarify that he neither encourages nor discourages any police officer who chooses to do certain Catholic practices, like carrying the cross or performing similar acts of penitence, which he considers a “personal vocation according to their own volition.”
“If they want to do it, go ahead,” the police chief said.
Of the 131 drug personalities killed, 44 were from Central Luzon; 24, National Capital Region (NCR); 17, Southern Tagalog; 8, Central Visayas; 6, Western Mindanao; 5, Eastern Visayas; 5, Central Mindanao; and 4, Bicol.
The regions of Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, Caraga and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) each had three people killed while the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Negros have one each.
Under Oplan High-Value Target Revalidated, police operatives conducted 6,025 operations and arrested a total of 9,692 drug personalities. Most of them were from NCR (2,122) and Southern Tagalog (2,089).