ACCORDING to the Philippine National Police (PNP), a total of 6,600 suspected drug offenders have been killed in police operations since the start of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs.
The police data, which was released Tuesday, June 18, during a command conference of top police officials at Camp Crame, covered the incidents from July 1, 2016 — a day after Duterte took his oath as Chief Executive — until May 31, 2019.
240,565 drug personalities were arrested in 153,276 police operations nationwide with 1,283,409 surrendering in the same period.
822 drug personalities, meanwhile, were killed from January to May this year. 38,937 suspects were also arrested in a total of 25,338 anti-drug operations conducted.
The report also revealed that 2,865 were subjected to PNP’s “Oplan Tokhang” while 2,755 surrendered to police.
Not yet final
PNP spokesperson Col. Bernard Banac clarified that the report is not yet final and have yet to be cross-checked with the figures of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
He added that the PNP still pegs the “official” drug war death toll at 5,375 as of March 2019.
Banac also noted that compared to the arrests made by the police, the death toll is “definitely small.” He said investigations over the death of the suspects during police operations are still being conducted, as well.
“It does not mean that just because they died in police operations, we will not investigate it. As much as possible, no one should die in our anti-drug operations,” he said.
The PNP said that as of April, 12,177 of the 42,045 barangays nationwide have achieved drug-free status. Meanwhile, 20,471 are still drug-affected.
It added that 282 barangays are “seriously affected by drugs,” 10,835 are “moderately affected,” and 9,354 are “slightly affected.”
Metro Manila remains to be the region most affected by drugs, with 1,515 of the 1,710 barangays affected. This is followed by Central Visayas, with 2,293 of 3,003 barangays affected; Central Luzon, with 2,342 of 3,102 barangays; and Bicol region, with 2,530 of 3,471 barangays.
Banac is confident that the remaining barangays will be cleared off of illegal drugs by the end of Duterte’s term in 2022.
“We can do this for the remaining three years of the president, with the help of all sectors of society,” he said.
The meeting was attended by regional police commanders and heads of national support units, and presided over by PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde.