7 in 10 Filipinos worried about selves, neighbors becoming EJK victims – SWS

Rambo Talabong
This comes after the Social Weather Stations found that half of Filipinos don't believe cops' 'nanlaban' line and that 6 in 10 Pinoys believe drug suspects were killed despite already surrendering

WHO'S NEXT? UP Diliman students hold a black Friday protest against killings. File photo by Angie De Silva/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – In every 10 Filipinos, 7 are worried that they themselves or someone they know will become a victim of an extrajudicial killing (EJK), the Social Weather Stations (SWS) found in their second quarter survey.

From June 23 to 26, 2017, the research group asked 1,200 Filipinos: “Gaano po kayo nangangamba na kayo o sino mang kilala ninyo ay maging biktima ng [EJK] (How worried are you that you or anyone you know will be a victim of EJK)?”

The SWS defined EJK as pagpatay sa isang tao na walang pahintulot ng batas (the killing of a person without legal basis). (READ: In the PH drug war, it’s likely EJK when…)

They found the following:

  • 41% are talagang nangangamba (very worried)
  • 32% are medyo nangangamba (somewhat worried)
  • 13%% are medyo hindi nangangamba (not too worried)
  • 14% are talagang hindi nangangamba (not worried at all)

According to the polling organization, the results vary a little across regions with 70% in Luzon, 77% in Visayas, and 75% in Mindanao saying they were worried.

The same goes for Metro Manila, where 73% of respondents said they were troubled they or their neighbors would be killed without due process.

Dispelling accusations of bias, the SWS said their survey was not commissioned and reported that their results have a ±3% margin of error for national, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao percentages.

STOP EJK. Religious groups protest vigilante-style killings at the Baclaran Church. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Why the fear?

The fear does not come as a surprise as killings have indeed risen ever since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office, especially vigilante-style killings which leave victims shot dead or dumped in the streets. (READ: Except for killings, all crimes drop in Duterte’s 1st year)

This also comes while the Philippine National Police (PNP) remains unrelenting in its campaign against illegal drugs and criminality, already claiming the lives of 3,850 suspects who fought back in police operations.

About these deaths, the SWS found that half of Filipinos do not believe that the killed fought back (‘nanlaban’), while 6 in 10 Pinoys think police killed drug suspects despite the suspects already surrendering.

To allay the public’s fears, PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos announced Friday, October 6, that there has not been a single case of extrajudicial killing under the Duterte administration.

This count, however, was based on EJK being defined as killings committed by “state and non-state forces” to silence, “through violence and intimidation, legitimate dissent and opposition raised by members of the civil society, cause-oriented groups, political movements, people’s and non-governmental organizations, and by ordinary citizens.” – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.