THE number of slain drug suspects continues to grow as 13 more suspected drug users and pushers were killed Monday night and early Tuesday in Metro Manila.
Police reports said eight were killed in Manila, two in Quezon City, two in the southern part of Metro Manila and one in Caloocan City. All of them were killed during police operations.
The lone fatality in Caloocan City was a suspended policeman — PO3 Roberto Cahilig — who was assigned at the Northern Police District’s anti-illegal drugs division. Cahilig opened fire at policemen who were conducting a door-to-door operation under Oplan Tokhang Tuesday at Barangay 188 Tala, Caloocan City.
The deaths were not included in the tally of the National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) which pegged the number of drug suspects killed by policemen at 70. Of this number, 29 were killed by members of the Manila Police District, 21 by Quezon City policemen, 10 by the Eastern Police District (EPD), nine by the Northern Police District (NPD) and one by Southern Police District (SPD).
During the same period, 37 bodies were also found.
Also, 636 drug suspects were arrested – 224 by the Quezon City Police Department, 186 by the Eastern Police District, 86 by the Northern Police District, 73 by the Eastern Police District and 67 by the Manila Police District.
From July 1 to 17, the NCRPO said 18,749 drug suspects surrendered and P1.7 billion worth of illegal drugs, mostly shabu and marijuana, were confiscated.
NCRPO chief Supt. Oscar Abayalde said authorities are investigating the deaths of the 37 persons suspected to be victims of summary killings.
“We do not condone that, that’s why this is being thoroughly investigated,” Abayalde told reporters.
He said there could be some groups taking advantage of the police’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs.
Meanwhile, seven more bodies were found in the southern part of Metro Manila Tuesday — three in Taguig City, three in Muntinlupa City and one in Pasay City.
All seven bodies bore placards saying that they were involved in drug trafficking.
Coronel said from July 1 to 15 this year, 6,272 houses of suspected drug pushers were visited, 5,133 drug users and 434 pushers surrendered.
Meanwhile, Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada said he will share with the Department of Education (DepEd) his drug education program called Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE).
The 23-year-old program, which the mayor started when he was still the vice president, is an interactive, classroom-based substance abuse prevention and education course that seeks to prevent the use of prohibited drugs, membership in gangs, and violent behavior among the youth.
“We are willing to impart our 23-year-old knowledge and experience to DepEd in teaching drug education to students. We already have a working system in place and have trained more police officers as instructors,” Estrada said.
Since 2013, thousands of students in Manila have completed the DARE curriculum. For school year 2016-2017, the city is targeting 27,000 Grade 5 and 6 student-beneficiaries.
Founded in Los Angeles, California in 1983, DARE is currently being implemented in 43 countries around the world, benefiting 36 million children.
Police officers are tapped as DARE teachers. They go to classrooms teaching one-hour, once-a-week DARE lessons to Grades 5 and 6 students, their parents, principals, and teachers. The classroom instruction for each school is completed within three months.
Topics include tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, volatile substances, bullying, anti-social behavior and different types of pressure. The sessions are interactive and provide a range of learning opportunities through individual activities, teamwork, discussions, storyboards, and appropriate role play.