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Law enforcers are also victims in the Duterte government’s intensive war on illegal drugs, according to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief director general Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa.
De la Rosa pointed this out to senators on the second day of the Senate’s two-day probe into the alleged extra judicial killings and summary executions.
“Our own people are also victims, they are also killed. This is just to illustrate that there is indeed a clear danger on the lives of our men in the operations against illegal drugs,” Dela Rosa said during the hearing chaired by Sen. Leila de Lima.
Citing latest records of the PNP, De la Rosa said nine police operatives and three soldiers have already been killed and an over-all 25 personnel wounded while in the performance of anti-drug operations.
“This is just to illustrate that there is indeed a clear danger on the lives of our men in the operations against illegal drugs,” he emphasized using a Power Point presentation.
De la Rosa returned to the Senate a day after witnesses disclosed during the hearing about the involvement of some cops in the illegal drug trade.
He said that under the PNP’s anti-illegal drugs campaign plan dubbed as “double barrel,” the police were able to get an upper hand in the fight against drugs with police being able to persuade a total of 673,978 drug personalities to surrender and personally appear to the police stations for processing.
He also said the total of users and pushers arrested are now at 11,784 while those killed in legitimate police operations are pegged at 756.
“And contrary to the perception of some sectors of the society, the Police Operations in Double Barrel would show that the focus is really on the Project Tokhang or in the conduct of house visitations in order to persuade users and pushers to stop with their illegal activity as there are more surrenders and arrested than killed Drug Personalities as a result of the police operations,” he said.
“The pie chart clearly indicates the greater volume of surrenderers than the number of the arrested and killed drug personalities,” he pointed out.
De la Rosa also said one high value target named Mico Tan was killed during the conduct of a police operation while 32 were arrested, nine of whom are Chinese nationals.
Of the 756 killed in legitimate operations, 569 are under investigation by the PNP-Internal Affairs Services (IAS).
Police said the lack of manpower has made it difficult for the agency to probe all cases.
In reviewing the index crime volume of July this year, De la Rosa said they saw a decrease of 31 percent from last year, which is also an indication of the success of the government’s anti-drug campaign which started on July 1.