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Gov’t: 72 killed in January 2019 drug ops; total hits 5,176

/ 11:50 AM February 28, 2019
Gov't: 72 killed in January 2019 drug ops; total hits 5,176

Illegal drug suspect identified as Jeffrey Ryan Bawar was killed in an alleged shootout with policemen in Indang town in Cavite province. Photo from Cavite PNP

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 72 drug suspects were killed in legitimate anti-drug operations in the first month of 2019, according to the latest Real Numbers PH released Thursday.

According to the spokespersons of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the January death count brings the total number of drug suspects killed to 5,176 since President Duterte launched his brutal war on drugs in July 2016.

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The drug suspects, whom police claim violently resisted arrest, were killed in the course of 119,841 anti-drug operations, while 170,689 drug personalities had been arrested as of January 31, 2019.

The deaths represent 2.94 percent of the total 175,865 drug personalities affected by the antidrug campaign. Meanwhile, the number of those arrested comprised 97.05 percent of the total.

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The government also reported that a total of 11,080 villages across the country have already been declared free from illegal drugs.

In January 2019 alone, 1,081 villages were “drug-cleared,” the PDEA and PNP noted. This trims the number of barangays yet to be cleared of illegal drugs to 21,974.

Meanwhile, seized drugs and laboratory equipment amounted to P25.94 billion as of January 2019. Of this, methamphetamine, locally known as “shabu,” amounted to P19.14 billion.

The relentless campaign against illegal drugs is among the key promises of Duterte during his 2016 presidential bid.

Local and international human rights group have denounced Duterte’s war on drugs claiming law enforcers deliberately kill drug suspects, an allegation the government vehemently denies. /cbb

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