PNP touts drug war wins, including killings
Almost half a billion pesos worth of illegal drugs have been seized in thousands of police operations in January, including 19 killings of suspected drug personalities. Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said that in January, a total of 4,632 antidrug operations were conducted, which led to the arrest of 6,248 individuals and confiscation of illegal drugs with a street value of more than P460 million. According to the PNP, during the monthlong operations, ”four drug suspects who put up violent resistance to lawful arrest died in some isolated incidents.” A study by the Third World Studies Center of the University of the Philippines and the Development Studies of Ghent University in Belgium, however, presents a higher death toll. In the study called “Dahas,” which includes a running count of drug-related killings based on media reports, 19 persons were killed from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31, adding to the 324 it tallied last year. Last year’s figures found that most of the killings happened in Cebu (46), Metro Manila (43), Negros Occidental (40) and Davao del Sur (27). Last month’s figures were lower compared with Dahas’ tally for January 2021, where 25 drug personalities were killed, nine of which were by state agents during legitimate operations. —DEXTER CABALZA
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