Who’s got the accurate—and therefore correct—figures in the national government’s campaign vs. illegal drugs?
The Philippine National Police has reported that 61 people have been killed by law enforcers since the onset of the Marcos administration on July 1 until December 31.
The figure includes operations conducted by the PNP alone and joint operations with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the PNP spokesperson clarified.
But wait. There’s more, if we’re to believe the figures compiled by Dahas, a monitoring project run by the University of the Philippines Diliman’s Third World Studies Center.
Dahas says there were 175 drug-related killings during the same period. This brings the total drug-related death toll to 324 in 2022 – a year that covered the last six months of the Duterte administration and the start of the Marcos administration.
“State agents still top the assailants, and pushers the top targets but hot spots have shifted from the National Capital Region and Negros Occidental to Davao City and Cebu,” the group said.
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:
1) killed in drug-related operation, activity or encounter;
2) reported to be involved in drug trade or in the war on drugs in whatever capacity;
3) reported to be in possession of illegal drugs at the time of the killing or when body was found;
4) reported to be associated with someone involved in the drug trade;
5) 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.
We can readily see the big difference in the statistics gathered by the PNP and the independent study group.
The PNP said only 61 were killed, while Dahas says it’s 175. That’s a difference of 114 deaths.
Or, PNP statistics say only 10 deaths per month while Dahas says law enforcers killed 30 every month.
Compare that with the previous administration’s official death count of more than 6,000 in six years, or 1,000 per year or 166 every month.
But human rights groups believe that between 20,000 and 30,000 have been killed in the six years of the Duterte regime, a claim that cannot be validated by an independent group.
Note that the PNP/PDEA did not say that the 61 who died in the past six months all fought back, or ‘nanlaban,’ and therefore deserved their fate.
Do they have the evidence to back up their claim—firearm recovered, autopsy result, etc.
The law enforcers should show the concrete evidence to back up their claim because the “nanlaban” narrative was much overused during the Duterte years.