Police chief claims fewer drug suspects fighting back

Police chief claims fewer drug suspects fighting back

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa said on Monday that rebooted anti-drug campaign yielded fewer deaths than the first leg of the operation. Dela Rosa claimed that the decrease in the number of suspects killed-107 since the the “Oplan Double Barrel” was relaunched in March-was due to fewer number of suspects fighting back.

This picture taken on the night of March 28, 2017 shows an alleged drug dealer killed by an unidentified assailant in Manila. Three turbulent decades after the Philippines shed dictatorship, President Rodrigo Duterte is offering a return to authoritarian rule as a solution to all the problems democracy has failed to fix. In a series of recent speeches, Duterte has repeatedly warned martial law may be needed to save his nation of 100 million people from descending into drug, crime and terrorism-induced anarchy. AFP/Noel Celis
 
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa said on Monday that rebooted anti-drug campaign yielded fewer deaths than the first leg of the operation.

Dela Rosa claimed that the decrease in the number of suspects killed—107 since the the “Oplan Double Barrel” was relaunched in March—was due to fewer number of suspects fighting back.

“Assessment ko diyan (my assessment is), this has become a less bloody war on drugs—itong ‘Double Barrel Reloaded’ compared sa ‘Double Barrel’ part one,” Dela Rosa said.

“Napakalaki po ang diperensya. Kung ito gawin nating monthly basis ito, magiging 749 after eight months compared do’n sa ‘Doube Barrel’ part one, meron tayong 2602 after eight months na napatay do’n sa police operations (There is a big difference. If we project the killings by months, there will be 749 in eight months compared to the first campaign wherein 2,602 were killed in police operations within eight months),” he added.

He said there was a 700-percent decrease from the first campaign. “O kaya, kumonti na lang ‘yung pusher dahil marami nang namatay (Or there are fewer drug pushers now because many have already died),” Dela Rosa added.

Dela Rosa, however, did not mention the mounting domestic and international pressure on the Duterte administration, accused of violations of human rights and due process in the thousands of deaths since the anti-drug efforts started in July last year.

“Double Barrel” was halted earlier this year after the killing of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo by police officers inside their Quezon City headquarters.

While not having established protocols to curb police abuse and apparently ignoring calls to investigate extrajudicial killings, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the resumption of the controversial war on drugs after only a few weeks. He has said in public addresses that there will be no letup in brutal campaign until the last drug lord falls.

Dela Rosa’s pronouncement on Monday, however, rings true to his earlier vow that the campaign will be “less bloody if not bloodless” upon the drug war’s resumption.

READ: ‘Double Barrel’ reloaded

Citing numbers from the Operation “Tokhang,” which literally means “knock and plead” to make drug users to surrender, Dela Rosa said that the police have visited 578,246 homes in 4,973 operations.

In those operations, cops have arrested a total of 7,940 drug suspects while 71,620 surrendered peacefully.

He also expressed hope that there will be even fewer suspects being killed as police officers become more aggressive.

The campaign is also expected continue despite the Holy Week break in many institutions in the predominantly Catholic nation.

Read more at The Philippine Star

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