PNP to drug users, pushers: Surrender, don’t fight cops
With President Rodrigo Duterte seeking a six-month extension of the intensified anti-drug war, Philippine National Police (PNP) hopes that the death toll in the drug drive, which had reached over 2,000 deaths, will not rise in the coming months.
“We wish na hindi po (tumaas ang death toll) kaya ho kami patuloy na nakikiusap—kung patuloy kayong gumagamit ng droga, sumurrender na ho kayo. ‘Wag ho manlaban (that the death toll won’t rise so we ask you—if you continue to use drugs, please surrender. Don’t fight the police),” PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said in a press briefing at Camp Crame on Monday.
“Well we can’t control the number. That’s up to the drug suspects if they want to fight it out. If they want to put the lives of our policemen in danger, we will defend ourselves so we will defend the majority of law-abiding Filipinos and those who want drugs out of this country,” Carlos said.
The President earlier asked the public for an extension of his self-imposed deadline to rid the Philippines of drugs and criminality, saying six months would not be enough to solve the drug problem given its magnitude in the country.
Since the bloody war started when Duterte formally assumed office in June 30, an average of 20 drug suspects are killed daily, based on the records of the PNP.
Latest statistics from the PNP showed that 1,152 drug personalities were killed in anti-drug operations while the “deaths under investigation” reached 1,606.
Now that the drug war will be extended until June next year, Carlos stressed that the PNP cannot guarantee that the death toll would not further escalate.
Asked if the extension was necessary, the police spokesperson said: “The PNP is focused on the task of waging war on drugs, criminality and internal cleansing as ordered by the President in the given period whether it’s six months, one year or six years.”
“We will continue this campaign on orders by our commander-in-chief and PNP chief Dir. Gen. Ronald dela Rosa,” he added.
Carlos added that the police will focus on drug-affected areas which have fewer “drug surrenderers” since the PNP aims to reach its target of close to 2 million surrenderers based on the Dangerous Drugs Board’s data that there are 1.8 million drug-dependent Filipinos nationwide.
If they would not be able to reach 1.8 million, Carlos said the PNP chief wants at least a “passing rate” of 70 percent or 1.2 million drug users and pushers to surrender to the police.
From July 1 to September 19, 715,393 surrenderers, 53,091 pushers and 662,302 users have turned themselves in to the authorities./rga