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Duterte claims success in war vs crime, drugs

29 December 2017

The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported an 8.44 percent decrease in the total crime volume nationwide from 493,912 reported crimes in October 2016 to 452,204 in October 2017.

It also noted the decrease in index crime at 20.56 percent, with robbery incidents fewer by 23.61 percent from 18,259 in October 2016 to 13,948 in October 2017.

In the war on illegal drugs, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque claimed it was “hugely successful, citing combined data from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Bureau of Customs (BOC), showing that 1,308,078 drug addicts have surrendered to the government as of July 26, 2017; while authorities have arrested 118,287 individuals as of November 27, 2017 during 79,193 anti-drug operations in the same period.

“I think the communities are safer and our young people are better protected against drugs,” Roque said in a recent interview.

He said he expects fewer allegations of human rights violations tied to the illegal drugs drug clampdown. “I think it’s human experience that we should hear less complaints because we know how to do it better,” he added.

“The Duterte administration has accomplished much in its first full year in office in 2017. The President’s decisive leadership, plus the strong collaboration among various government agencies, has resulted in the attainment of many of the priorities set out by the national government in the last 12 months,” said part of a 63-page accomplishment report of the Duterte administration.

It said authorities seized illegal substances worth P18.92 billion; and that 4,747 barangays have been declared drug-free as of November 27, 2017.

However, the same report said only 3,967 drug personalities have died in the government’s war on drugs as of November 27, 2017 while 16, 355 homicide cases are still under investigation, the joint data added.

Human rights groups have been citing more than 13, 000 deaths attributed to the government’s aggressive war on drugs.  Human rights advocates classified the deaths as “extrajudicial killings” as they claim that Duterte’s rhetoric has emboldened policemen to use shortcuts in the anti-drug crackdown.

A prevailing narrative in anti-drug operations is the “nanlaban” claim of the police operatives, wherein suspects killed allegedly fought back and resisted arrest. Critics, however, decry extrajudicial killings in the process as they point out that those killed in the drug war have yet to face a court to try allegations against them.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said “crucial reforms” will be undertaken in the year ahead to achieve President Duterte’s commitment to eliminate illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption in government.

In a 63-page yearend report released on Tuesday, Roque said Duterte and his administration would “act in urgency” to give “the Filipino people a safe, secure, and comfortable environment through his key platforms of providing law and order, lasting peace, and prosperity for all.”

Duterte promised to rid the country of drugs and criminality in six months, but later asked for a longer deadline, insisting he was not aware of the gravity of the drug problem.

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