PDEA: Drug war death toll now over 5,500; arrests reach 193,000
MANILA, Philippines — The number of drug suspects killed in anti-drug operations has reached 5,526, data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) showed Thursday.
Another 193,063 drug personalities, meanwhile, have been arrested in 134,583 operations conducted nationwide.
The data which covered July 2016 until June 2019 were disclosed during the Real Numbers PH presentation that aims to clarify data on the drug war, amid the 27,000 deaths that human rights groups allege could be related to the drive against the illegal drug trade.
This also clarifies the 6,600 deaths earlier reported in the unofficial data of the Philippine National Police (PNP). This earlier figure has not yet been verified with PDEA.
A total of P34.75 billion worth of illegal drugs have been confiscated by authorities during the period.
The data also showed that a total of 42,045 villages have also been cleared of drugs. Another 19,215 villages have yet to be declared cleared of drugs.
The presentation of data on the drive against the illegal drug trade was made exactly a week after the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted the Iceland resolution that called for probe into the human rights situation in the Philippines, to include killings linked to the Philippine government’s war on drugs.
In a press conference held after the data presentation, Lt. Col. Kimberly Molitas, PNP Deputy Spokesperson also denied the allegation made by some human rights groups that the government’s war on drugs is anti-poor, citing a total of 7,054 high-value targets who were also arrested during the same period.
A total of 681 government workers, including 282 elected officials, 76 uniformed personnel, and 323 government employees were also arrested.
PDEA also recorded a total of 2,385 children aged four to 17 rescued in drug stings. Among them are 1,298 pushers, 632 “possessors,” and 307 users./muf, gsg