Police data shows official death toll of Duterte’s drug war now at 5,176

Human rights advocates protest drug war in 2017. (Photo: Mark Demayo/ABS-CBN News)
Human rights advocates protest drug war in 2017. (Photo: Mark Demayo/ABS-CBN News)

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said today that a total of 5,176 drug suspects have been killed in anti-drug operations ever since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in July 2016.

Authorities said that the suspects were killed in legitimate anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to Jan. 31, 2019, GMA News reported.

That’s 126 more drug suspects killed from the last time authorities released official data in December that placed the death toll at 5,050 from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2018.

However, human rights groups maintain that the number is much higher. The Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights (CHR), said in December that the death toll could be as high as 27,000.

170,689 drug suspects, whom police said fought back, were arrested in the course of 119,841 anti-drug operations in the last two and a half years, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

Meanwhile, 11,080 villages — out of more than 40,000 villages in the country — have been declared “cleared” of illegal drugs, CNN Philippines reported.

As of January, seized drugs and laboratory equipment amounted to PHP25.94billion (US$501.55million)Inquirer reported.

Duterte said on Sunday that the number of drug users in the National Capital Region is around seven or eight million. His anti-drug campaign led him to victory in the 2016 elections.

However, many Filipinos believe that the police are actually involved in summary killings.

In a Social Weather Stations survey published last night, a majority of respondents believe that cops are involved in extrajudicial killings and in the illegal drug trade.

The survey results come just a week after Duterte promised an even harsher drug war in the coming days, saying he doesn’t want the Philippines to become a failed state.

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