Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday, July 10, gave President Rodrigo Duterte a high grade on his war on illegal drugs.

“I would give him about 8.5. A lot more has to be done,” Roque told reporters in Cavite when he was asked to give his rating regarding the government’s war on drugs.

According to him, the anti-drug war, which has left more than 4,000 people dead, gave Filipinos a sense of security.

“But what is important is even the surveys will indicate that majority of our people, 80 plus (percent) of our people feel safer, they feel more secure in their homes because of the drive against criminality and the war against drugs,” he added.

In Pulse Asia’s September 2017 poll, 88 percent of Filipinos back the anti-drug crackdown.
But while the drug war has been receiving plenty of feedback, it also has its fair share of criticisms. The political opposition, as well as a number of human rights groups, have constantly pointed out how the crackdown is encouraging abusive practices and extrajudicial killings. They also noted that Duterte made a promise to provide legal protection to policemen and soldiers who would face charges in relation to the campaign.
Meanwhile, officials claim that Duterte is against unlawful killings and other illegal acts.

Authorities also insist that that most of the slain suspects fought violently with the arresting officers.

According to a recent study by researchers from Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University declared that the poor are the most vulnerable in the drug war. The common occupations among those who died in the anti-drug crackdown tricycle drivers, construction workers, carpenters, vendors, farmers, jeepney drivers and dispatchers, and garbage collectors.

The government still claims that it is winning the war against narcotics despite critics pointing out that the campaign only focuses on small-time drug peddlers.

Roque in a recent statement, cited police data that claimed a total of 91,704 anti-drug operations were conducted from July 2016 to March 20, 2018. The operations led to the arrest of 123,648 drug suspects. A total of 189 drug dens and clandestine laboratories were dismantled and P13.46 billion-worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu were seized during the period.

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