The death toll on war on drugs waged by the Duterte administration has risen by 96 in the past three days.

Yesterday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said that 1,011 drug pushers and users were killed from July 1 to September 4. PNP spokesmen Senior Superintendent Dionardo Carlos disclosed that there are currently 1,391 deaths that they consider ‘death under inquiry’ or DUI. Those cases were the ones whose bodies were found marked with cardboards labelled with “pusher ako, ‘wag tularan”.

Drug war kills 96 in past three days
Photo by PhilStar
Carlos also said that it is the territorial police units that investigate the DUI cases while the deaths during police raids are being looked into by the Internal Affairs Service (IAS).

“(Cases of) DUI are separate from those killed during police operations under the Project Double Barrel,” he said.

Project Double Barrel is aimed towards street-level drug pushers and high-value targets so that President Duterte’s goal to end the illegal drug trade in the country as he promised during the campaign period will be met.

14,798 people were already arrested during operations, while 685,740 have surrendered after PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa gave orders on the intensified implementation of the said project.

According to Carlos, the police solved 176 cases that involved the arrest of alleged perpetrators. They also filed 281 cases.

Dela Rosa speculated that the deaths of alleged drug pushers were attributed to drug syndicates trying to, in a way, purge their own ranks. This includes the case of businessman Melvin Odicta and his wife Meriam who were both assassinated last August 29.

However, he said, some were due to turf wars or double-crosses in drug transactions.

“You will be surprised, this is not the handiwork of vigilantes. These alleged vigilante killings, it turned out, are syndicated killings. Groups in illegal drugs,” Dela Rosa explained.

A group of overseas Filipino workers, on the other hand, has expressed their support for the government’s war against illegal drugs. They said that they are willing to think of programs that wold be beneficial to the campaign.

John Leonard Monterona, United Overseas Filipinos Worldwide convenor, praised the government for being clear with the message that illegal drugs are menace to the society and that people should unite against it. ASCS

Source: Philstar

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