MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Thursday, November 16, claimed only one drug suspect had been killed since October 11 or the day President Rodrigo Duterte named PDEA as the "sole agency" in charge of his controversial war on drugs.
During Senator Risa Hontiveros' interpellation on PDEA's proposed 2018 budget, she asked if there were casualties since October 11.
"After Director General Aaron Aquino took over, there was only one killed in action," said Senator Panfilo Lacson, the sponsor of the PDEA budget in the Senate. (READ: Drilon wants P1.4-B anti-drug budget realigned to house policemen)
PDEA spokesperon Derrick Carreon also confirmed this to Rappler.
"We have one PDEA agent who recently died, and one drug suspect killed during an anti-drug operation on October 18," he said in a text message to Rappler.
Lacson noted that even if only one died since October 11, "one death is too many."
Hontiveros agreed: "It's better if we put a stop to too much killings that have been happening these past months."
According to Lacson, the Senate version of PDEA's proposed 2018 budget recommended an increase of P1.21 billion.
Before the PDEA fronted Duterte's landmark campaign, the Philippine National Police (PNP) counted at least 3,800 drug suspects killed in the drug war. (READ: End to illegal drugs in Duterte term 'nearly impossible,' says PDEA chief) – with a report from Rambo Talabong/Rappler.com
Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.