By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 27, 2016 - 12:00am
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PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa made the observation as he revealed arrests and the filing of charges against several individuals linked to killings of drug offenders. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Police (PNP) is gaining headway in its investigation into unexplained killings or what it calls death under inquiry (DUI) believed to be mostly drug-related.
PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa made the observation as he revealed arrests and the filing of charges against several individuals linked to killings of drug offenders.
“We are gaining some headway towards solving cases of DUI. There were about 4,000 (killings) and out of that only 100 plus were drug-related cases, meaning we have almost 3,000 that were not drug related,” Dela Rosa said.
“We have concluded investigation of around 800, which we resolved, nalaman kung sino ang (identified) suspects, filed charges of about 800 and arrested and jailed around 500 suspects… by and large or meaning, di tulugan ng kapulisan kasi (the police are not sleeping on the job because) 800 cases have been resolved out of the 3,000 DUI. Nagtatrabaho po kami (We’re doing our job),” Dela Rosa added.
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From July 1 to Dec. 26, PNP’s project Double Barrel Alpha resulted in the killing of 2,155 drug pushers and users – most of them while putting up a fight during police anti-illegal drug operations or what police term “nanlaban.”
The PNP said 2,928 others were killed from July 1 to Dec. 15 but their deaths remain under investigation.
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A total of 42,497 drug offenders have been arrested in 39,987 anti-drug operations in almost six months of the Duterte administration.
Anti-drug operations across the country have left 21 policemen dead and 60 others wounded.
“DUI are cases of murder still under investigation and not automatically connected with the war on drugs nor are these cases immediately attributed (to) EJK,” the PNP said.
Dela Rosa directed policemen to do their job properly as he reiterated that President Duterte and the PNP leadership do not tolerate extrajudicial killings.
In July, Dela Rosa said common crimes like murder, homicide, rape, robbery decreased as the PNP intensified the campaign against illegal drugs.
The PNP, however, has yet to release official crime statistics under the Duterte administration. In the past, the PNP undertook strategic monitoring of crime incidents under the Lambat Sibat.
Dela Rosa vowed to continue the intensified campaign against illegal drugs as he sought the help of communities in identifying and fighting criminals.
Crime volume down
Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said overall crime volume decreased 13.4 percent in the first 10 months of 2016 compared to the figure in the same period last year.
The DILG said there were 490,700 crime incidents from January to October 2016 compared to 566,597 reported in the same period in 2015.
In a statement, Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno said index crimes also dipped by 30.81 percent or 118,183 crimes compared to last year’s figure of 170,818, while non-index crimes also dropped by 5.88 percent or from 395,779 in the same period of 2015 to 372,517 in 2016.
Sueno said 2016 was an unprecedented year for the DILG as it achieved significant and record-high gains in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.
“The DILG took President Duterte’s directive to rid the country of the triple menace of drugs, crimes and corruption seriously. We have risen to the challenge of the President and I believe that we did a fairly good job in enhancing peace and order and public safety conditions as well as in improving local governance for better public service delivery,” he said.
“We do not want to let President Duterte down. This is why our PNP worked doubly hard to scour all drug-affected barangays through Oplan Tokhang so that the people will get the message that we mean business,” he said.