MANILA- As the police-led war on drugs enters its second year, will the campaign maintain its promise of less bloodbath?
Philippine National Police Director-General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa on Tuesday said they cannot say if the campaign would be less bloody compared to its first year.
"Wala naman sa amin yan, react na naman tayo sa action ng involved sa droga. We have observed based on records, 12,000 ang ating nahuli, hindi naman bloody 'yun. Nahuli sila, buhay sila dahil hindi sila lumaban," he said.
"Yun naging bloody ay 'yung nakipaglaban 'yung mga suspects. Wala po kaming kontrol hindi po naming masabi na hindi bloody,"Dela Rosa added.
The PNP chief last January dissolved the police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group after some of its operatives were accused of using a drug raid to cover up the abduction and murder of a South Korean businessman inside Camp Crame.
Last March, the PNP retook leadership of the anti-narcotics campaign with a new police unit.
The relaunched campaign required Oplan Tokhang operations, wherein cops visit the homes of suspected drug users and urge them to seek rehabilitation, to be conducted only by town police chiefs, station commanders, and precinct heads.
Police data shows that nearly 3,000 drug suspects have died in presumed legitimate police operations in Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs.
Out of 9,432 homicide cases from July 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 or the first 9 months of the Duterte administration, 1,847 have been found to be drug-related, with 5,691 cases under investigation.
The anti-narcotics drive has also resulted in a 26.45 percent drop in the estimated total drug market and 28.57 percent reduction in index crime, according to police data.