Since July 1, 316 drug suspects were killed nationwide as the Philippine National Police (PNP) stepped up its campaign against illegal drugs.
Latest figures released by the PNP’s Public Information Office said that from July 1 to July 28, 2016, 4,386 drug suspects have been arrested across the country while 141,659 others surrendered to authorities.
Among those killed were the alleged number one drug pusher in Pontevedra town in Negros Occidental and three other suspected drug peddlers who engaged policemen in a firefight Wednesday afternoon.
Reports reaching the PNP National Operations Center in Camp Crame identified the victims as Andrew Tuvilla, allegedly the top supplier of illegal drugs in Pontevedra and neighboring areas, and Ramon Lanzar Jr., Monterio Jiloma and Leo Uberas.
Senior Inspector Geruld Huerva, the chief of police of San Enrique town, said the four were killed in a shootout with members of the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group of the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office.
On Thursday, PNP chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa sought regional cooperation on the war against illegal drugs during a meeting with his counterparts in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Malaysia.
De la Rosa led the 15-man delegation of the Philippine police to the 36th Asean Chiefs of Police (Aseanapol) conference on international cooperation and law enforcement best practices on curbing drug trafficking, commercial crimes, bank fraud, cybercrime, and trafficking in persons.
At the plenary session, dela Rosa presented the PNP’s report on transnational crime concerns, including efforts aimed at strengthening international cooperation with other police forces in the region against drug trafficking and transnational syndicates.
He held bilateral meetings with Malaysian Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and police chiefs from other countries where he highlighted the need for intensified cooperation against illegal drugs.