Drug coddlers who continue to resist arrest have to face the consequences of their actions, Malacañang said Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the comment after government data from July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30 this year showed that 5,050 people had been killed in drug operations after allegedly resisting arrest.
Panelo said this figure is “way behind” the figures reported in “false news agencies.”
At the same time, data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency showed more than 160,000 drug personalities have been arrested since the start of President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.
The total count of drug personalities arrested since the start of Duterte’s term up to Nov. 30, 2018 is at 164,265.
Official records also showed that only 51 drug personalities died in the anti-illegal drug operations in November while 2,681 were arrested.
In the Real Numbers press briefing Tuesday, PDEA Spokesman Derrick Carreon addressed criticisms from groups questioning the accuracy of the numbers they had presented and said their data had undergone a rigid process of data collation before being released.
“We stand by these numbers. These were closely studied. These are the real figures. We’re used to those groups releasing different figures left and right, we do not know where these numbers come from,” Carreon said.
Panelo refused to say whether it was a small or big number but noted that “the number of deaths occurring in drug-related cases will depend on the circumstances surrounding the arrest.”
“It depends on how those involved in drugs will respond to operations against them. If they become violent just as early, the result will be violent too. What you sow, you reap,” Panelo said.
“It means that the people involved there are resisting arrest or using violence; that’s why in the process, they are given the consequent violence coming from the police officers,” he added.
Carreon said 159 of the arrested drug personalities were foreign nationals—48 were part of Chinese drug syndicates while 12 were Americans, 25 were Taiwanese, and 74 belonged to other nationalities.
PDEA records said some P128.96 million worth of illegal drugs and equipment were seized in November alone.
However, the figure was P25.19 billion for illegal drugs and equipment seized since July 2016 or the start of Duterte’s term.