Palace applauds SWS survey saying 66% see fewer addicts
Two in three Filipino adults believed that there were fewer drug addicts in their neighborhood, a recent Social Weather Stations survey found amid the thousands of deaths in President Duterte’s bloody antidrug campaign.
The survey, conducted from Dec. 16 to 19 last year, found 66 percent of 1,440 respondents saying the number of drug addicts in their area had decreased over the past year, while 14 percent said it had increased and 7 percent said it remained the same.
Malacañang hailed the survey results as a vindication of Mr. Duterte’s priority on fighting drugs.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the survey results were “a validation of the success of the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.”
The belief that there were fewer drug addicts was highest in Mindanao at 83 percent, followed by 71 percent in Visayas, 67 percent in Metro Manila and 54 percent in the rest of Luzon.
Law enforcers admitted to 4,999 drug suspects, mostly poor drug users and alleged pushers, getting killed in antidrug operations since Mr. Duterte assumed office in June 2016 until the end of October last year.
Rights groups, however, estimated the number to be at least triple that.
But an overwhelming majority, or 95 percent, of respondents deemed it important for police to arrest suspects alive, while 5 percent said it was not important.
SWS used a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points for national percentages.
In his statement, Panelo lashed out at critics of Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs, saying they should “stop playing blind.”
He pointed to the survey results as proof that Mr. Duterte was right about giving priority to the fight against drugs.
The survey, according to Panelo, meant that “our people acknowledge the administration’s efforts to bring down the number of drug personalities.” —INQUIRER RESEARCH WITH A REPORT FROM CHRISTINE AVENDAÑO
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