State of emergency must remain in force amid war on drugs—Bato
The state of national emergency should remain in force amid the government’s relentless war on illegal drugs, the official of the Philippine National Poice (PNP) has said.
“As of now I cannot give advice to the President na i-lift ‘yung (to lift the) state of lawlessness na sinasabi niya (he was talking about),” PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa told reporters in a press briefing on Thursday when asked if Duterte should lift the declaration.
Dela Rosa said the threat from illegal drug activities remains a concern for state forces.
“So far ‘yung threat kasi natin sa ngayon ay nai-li-link doon sa ating war on drugs, kaya hangga’t relentless ‘yung ating war on drugs, ‘di pa rin natin masabi na mawawala ‘yung threat natin (the threat is linked to our war on drugs so as long as we have a relentless war on drugs, we cannot say that our threat will be gone),” he said.
Last September 5, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a proclamation declaring a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence.
Duterte signed the proclamation two days after a deadly bombing in a crowded night market in Davao City, which killed 15 people and injured dozens more.
Malacañang has said that the declaration would be “indefinite” as long as the President finds it necessary.
As of September 29, records from the PNP showed that 725,791 drug users and pushers have surrendered to police while 19,907 drug personalities were arrested. The PNP added that 1,276 people have been killed in police operations against illegal drugs.
Dela Rosa said the war on illegal drugs of the PNP was now in its second phase.
READ: Drug war enters Phase 2
“Second phase will be focusing more (on) the HVTs (high value targets). ‘Yung…bale ang focus ‘nong first phase ay doon sa Tokhang sa street level (The focus of the first phase was on the Tokhang in the street level),” he said.
The police official admitted that the government was still halfway to its target number of “drug surrenderers.”
“Malaki pa ang kulang talaga (We have yet to fulfill our target),” he said, adding that their target was 1.8 million surrenderers.
“Sa new target namin sa PNP which is we set at 1.8 million surrenderers, kasama na diyan surrenderers, neutralized, arrested, killed na mga drug personalities na 1.8 million. Nasa 720,000 pa tayo eh (On our new target at PNP, which we set at 1.8 million surrenderers, included there are surrenderers, neutralized, arrested and killed drug personalities. We currently have 720,000 who surrendered.),” he added.
Dela Rosa said supply of illegal drugs was down by 70 percent to 80 percent.
“Yung estimate natin ngayon na ‘yung sa supply side, medyo bumaba by around 70 to 80 percent. Estimate lang ‘yan ha. Bumaba by 70 to 80 percent (We estimate that the supply side of illegal drugs went down by around 70 to 80 percent. It’s only an estimate. It went down by around 70 to 80 percent),” he said. RAM/rga
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