MANILA, Philippines – Philippine investigators have yet to solve more than 16,000 homicide cases, as the war on drugs – and its different iterations – reached its year-and-a-half mark.
According to the “President’s 2017 Key Accomplishments” released by Malacañang, Wednesday, December 27, at least 16,355 homicide cases are still under investigation. The numbers are updated as of September 30, 2017.
It’s curious that the Palace would include “homicide cases under investigation” together with data on “Fighting Illegal Drugs.”
Officials, including those from the Philippine National Police (PNP), have insisted that not all homicides being investigated are necessarily linked to the war on drugs. (READ: War on drugs: How the PNP responds to abuse, corruption charges)
This comes as the PNP and the government get criticism for deaths – both acknowledged by police and by alleged gun men – linked to the drug war.
Other “#RealNumbers” data as provided by Malacañang include:
- 79,193 anti-drug operations conducted from July 1, 2016 to November 27, 2017
- 118,287 drug personalities arrested from July 1, 2016 to November 27, 2017
- 1,308,078 “surrenderers facilitated” from July 1, 2016 to July 26, 2017
- 3,967 drug personalities killed in anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to November 27, 2017
- P18.92 billion in illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia seized from July 1, 2016 to November 27, 2017
- 4,747 barangays declared drug-free as of November 27, 2017
“Real Numbers” is the government’s campaign to clarify data on the war on drugs, allegedly because media, which was mostly sourcing its data from government agencies, were being erroneous in its reports.
Malacañang said the data was culled from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Bureau of Customs (BuCor).
The drug war has gone through several changes since President Rodrigo Duterte came into power in 2016. The PNP, for instance, was ordered to stop police operations and leave the drug war twice, the latest being in March 2017, on the heels of criticism over the deaths of two boys to police operations.
Duterte has since ordered the PNP and other agencies to “resume in providing active support to the PDEA,” the primary agency for anti-illegal drug operations, in December 2017.
Malacañang also highlighted surveys by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), Pulse Asia Research, and Pew Research Center, showing majority of Filipinos support or are satisfied with the campaign against illegal drugs.
According to the SWS survey, the drug war got a +63 net satisfaction rating, even as Pulse Asia reported that 88% of respondents supported Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs. The numbers were from the two firms’ respective third quarter 2017 survey.
Pew, meanwhile, said 78% supported Duterte’s handling of illegal drugs while 62% believed the government was making progress in its illegal drugs campaign. The survey was released in September 2017.
What Malacañang’s report left out in its ‘Yearender’ are portions of the surveys by Pulse and SWS indicating that Filipinos either believed that extrajudicial killings were happening in the drug war or did not believe cops’ claim that those who died “fought back (nanlaban).“
The public’s beliefs persisted despite their support on the war on drugs. (READ: Why are Filipinos supporting Duterte’s drug war?) – Rappler.com