Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said the Philippines is winning the war against illegal drugs as President Rodrigo Duterte marked his third year in office.
According to Albayalde, the improvement in the peace and order situation across the country is a manifestation of the drug war’s success.
“This is a clear manifestation that we are winning the war against illegal drugs, dahil isa ito sa resulta sa kampanya natin sa illegal na droga, yung pag-improve natin sa ating peace and order situation dito, hindi lang sa Metro Manila pero buong bansa yan (Because this is one of the results of our campaign against illegal drugs, the improvement of our peace and order situation, not only in Metro Manila but also in the whole country),” he said during a press briefing.
Duterte’s war against drugs has continuously drawn criticisms both from local and international groups after at least 6,000 people ended up dead during official police operations.
Albayalde, for his part, countered the criticisms and pointed out that the 50 policemen have been killed in action while 144 suffered injuries.
“Fifty police officers killed is perhaps the painful proof that our detractors need for them to accept the fact that slain drug suspects indeed put up violent resistance to evade the law. Or do they want more dead lawmen to convince them some more?” he said.
From July 2016 to the present, a total of 240,565 drug suspects have been arrested in over 150,000 anti-drug operations.
PNP not falling short
Albayalde also clarified that the police are not falling short of arrest targets following the release of Commission on Audit (COA)’s report that the PNP missed its 2018 goals.
He said the COA was not referring to the arrest of all wanted persons which include ordinary suspects — just the top 10 most wanted persons arrested in 2018.
“I think kailangan sabihin sa COA ‘yan para maintindihan nila. Kase ang lumalabas, we are falling short on the arrest of wanted persons (I think we should explain to COA because it appears that we are falling short of targets for the arrest of wanted persons). We did not fall short on the arrest of wanted persons),” Albayalde said.
Based on COA’s report, the PNP only managed to arrest 19.37 percent of the most wanted persons, despite its target of 51.57 percent.
Albayalde pointed out that the PNP did not hit its target number of arrests on most wanted persons, it hit triple of its target on arrest of ordinary wanted persons.
The number of arrests of persons with a bounty on their heads increased from 35 in 2017 to 48 last year, according to the PNP chief.