• Drug campaign claims lives of 12 policemen

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    THE Philippine National Police (PNP) said 12 police officers have been killed in anti-drug operations since July 1 while 16 others were injured.

    Supt. Arnel Esmana, the assistant chief of the moral and welfare division of the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management, said the latest fatality was PO1 Romeo Mandapat Jr.

    “We include only those killed in police operations. We also eliminated some of the names in the list because it was later found out that some of those previously included were not injured in police operations,” Esmana said in a news briefing in Camp Crame on Monday.

    Mandapat, a member of the Northern Police District, was killed in an encounter with armed drug pushers in Caloocan City last week.

    Esmana said most of the slain policemen were shot dead by drug suspects who resisted arrest.

    “Some of the operations were successful but there were casualties because of the resistance of criminals. We are continuously trying to provide safety gears (to policemen) since we are mounting a massive and intensive operations,” he added.

    The families of those killed received P250,000 from the government and PNP pension equivalent to 50 percent of the policeman’s base and longetivity pays.

    On the other hand, those who sustained major injuries received P100,000 while those who suffered minor injuries got P50,000.

    Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos, PNP spokesman, said the death of the police personnel shows the agency’s seriousness in the intensified campaign against illegal drugs.

    “We cannot control the number [of fatalities]. If they [drug suspects]want to fight, we have no choice but to protect the people. If they opt to fight it out, we will fight them. We are losing policemen in this fight, there are lives being lost here but it is not because that is what we want. We want them to peacefully surrender,” Carlos said.

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