60% of Filipinos believe only poor get killed in war on drugs
Three out of five Filipinos believe that only the poor get killed in the government’s deadly war on drugs, according to a survey conducted by the Social Weather Station (SWS) from June 23 to 26.
For his part, Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa conceded that most of those killed in the drug campaign were from the slums but said they were not the only targets of authorities.
The survey results show that 60 percent of Filipinos agree to the statement: “Hindi pinapatay ang mga mayayaman na drug pusher; ang mga pinapatay ay ang mahihirap lamang [Rich drug pushers are not killed; only the poor ones are killed].”
On the other hand, 23 percent disagree – of which 12 percent somewhat disagree and 11 percent strongly disagree – and 17 percent were undecided.
Most of those who share the sentiment came from Metro Manila, with 75 percent agreeing. This is followed by Mindanao with 59 percent agreeing, balance Luzon with 58 percent, and the Visayas with 53 percent.
The poll results came days after the SWS revealed that most Filipinos do not buy police’s claim that those killed under President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs had fought against the authorities.
The nationwide survey was conducted on 1,200 respondents with a margin of error of plus-or-minus three percentage points.
Three quarters of those surveyed also believe that Duterte should expose his list of drug personalities and charge them in court.
The survey found that 74 percent agree with the statement: “Dapat isiwalat ni Pang. Duterte ang kanyang listahan ng mga taong sangkot sa droga o “drug personalities” sa publiko at sampahan ng kaso sa korte ang mga nakalista. [Pres. Duterte should expose his list of drug personalities to the public and charge those in the list in court],” while 12 percent disagree and 14 are undecided.
This sentiment is highest among Metro Manila residents with 82 percent, followed by balance Luzon at 75 percent, Mindanao at 71 percent, and the Visayas at 69 percent.
In a statement, the SWS said “items on the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs are non-commissioned. They were included on SWS’s own initiative and released as a public service.”
PNP chief: Poor not only targets
In reaction, Dela Rosa said: “Well, the survey is still the perception of the people.”
Dela Rosa pointed out that the police had neutralized big time drug personalities, namely Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. in the anti-narcotics drive.
“Were those men poor? Certainly not,” the PNP chief said, adding that people should exercise fairness before commenting on the police anti-drug operations.
“Totoo naman talaga (It’s true). Mas maraming mahirap ang nagbebenta ng droga kaysa sa mayaman kasi (Those selling drugs were mostly poor people) you have to understand the structure of the drug pyramid,” he explained.
The PNP chief said the killings would only stop when the drug suspects would no longer resist authorities.
“Kung walang lumalaban, walang mamamatay. Hangga’t merong lalaban, talagang may mamamatay,” Dela Rosa said.