SC justices: More killings, drugs users since Duterte became president
The number of drug users have more than doubled and there had been almost 4,000 killings since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office last year, two Supreme Court Associate justices observed on Tuesday, during the third and final session of the oral arguments on the two petitions seeking to nullify the government’s war on drugs.
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio noted that drug users in 2015 was set at 1.5 million as cited under the Command Memorandum Circular No. 16-2016, which contains the provisions of Project Double Barrel, the anti-drug campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
However, data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) showed that by 2016, drug users had ballooned to 4.7 million.
“So it actually increased during the term of President Duterte. Is that correct?” Carpio asked Solicitor Genera Jose Calida.
Calida said the data “was not really accurate and was understated.”
Associate Justice Marvic Leonen also noted that there had been almost 4,000 people killed since last year.
“There are thousands upon thousands of people who are killed either in police operations or found on the side of the road,” Leonen said. “Would you say we are now suffering a crime wave consisting of a lot of murders?”
“I am not an expert on that your honor,” Calida said.
“But with the 4,000 murders for a period of one year, don’t you think that this is something we should worry about, regardless of who these people are?” Leonen said. “The police, of course, might be investigating them, but it worries, of course, that there is such a break in law and order.”
Leonen added that the number of deaths went up after July 2016.
Duterte took his oath of office as president on June 30, 2016.
Calida said there was a connection between the prevalence of drugs and index crimes. /atm
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