MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network): Even with a recalibrated approach to the government’s war against illegal drugs, a total of 61 people have been killed by law enforcers since President Ferdinand Marcos Jr took office in 2022, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
PNP spokesperson Col Jean Fajardo told INQUIRER.net that between July 1 and Dec 31, 2022, 61 alleged drug offenders were slain in the government’s anti-illegal drug operations.
“That includes joint operations with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency,” she explained in a text message on Wednesday (Jan 11).
But according to Dahas, a monitoring project run by the University of the Philippines Diliman’s Third World Studies Centre, there were 175 drug-related killings in the country during Marcos’ first few months as President, or between 12 noon of June 30 and Dec 31, 2022.
This, Dahas noted, brings the total drug-related death toll to 324 in 2022 – a year that saw both the tail-end of the Duterte administration and the start of the Marcos administration.
“State agents still top the assailants, and pushers the top targets but hotspots have shifted from the National Capital Region and Negros Occidental to Davao City and Cebu,” the group claimed.
Dahas said it considers a killing as drug-related “if the victim was killed through violent means” and if it falls under one of the following criteria:
- Killed in drug-related operation, activity or encounter
- Reported to be involved in drug trade or in the war on drugs in whatever capacity
- Reported to be in possession of illegal drugs at the time of the killing or when body was found
- Reported to be associated with someone involved in the drug trade
- Killed by someone reported to be involved in the drug trade, assumed to be for drug-related reasons or while under the influence of drugs