NEARLY 200 persons have been killed in intensified police operations against illegal drugs since the election of President Rodrigo Duterte, based on official statistics.
But the number jumps to more than 300 if vigilante killings are included, as tallied by ABS-CBN News.
Figures released on Thursday by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Directorate for Investigative and Detective Management (DIDM) showed that 192 drug suspects have been killed by police in anti-illegal drug operations during the period May 10 to July 10.
A total of 35,276 drug suspects surrendered, while 8,110 were arrested on drug offenses. A total of 6,478 cases have been filed before prosecutors, police said.
Authorities have maintained that those killed had engaged law enforcers in shootouts or, in at least one recent case, attempted to wrest away weapons from police officers.
The number of deaths reported by the police did not include the increasing number of victims of summary killings, many of whose bodies were dumped on the streets, bearing cardboard signs stating that they were “drug pushers.”
ABS-CBN News, however, has reported that at least 311 people have been killed since May 10 – 224 by police operatives and 87 by vigilantes.
The PNP-DIDM figures showed that Southern Tagalog Region had the most number of drug suspects killed in police operations with 57, followed by Central Luzon with 46.
They were followed by Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) with 21 drug suspects killed, Soccskargen with 19, and the Davao Region with 17.
Fourteen drug suspects were killed in Central Visayas, six in the Bicol Region, and three in Western Mindanao.
Southern Tagalog had the most number of drug suspects arrested during the two-month period with 2,230, followed by NCR with 1,906 and Central Luzon with 1,097.