Drug war deaths doubled during lockdown? Killings only up by 5 pct, says PNP
The Philippine National Police rejected Friday a report by Human Rights Watch that killings related to the anti-narcotics campaign doubled during the coronavirus lockdown.
Drug war deaths only rose by around 4.74 percent during the 184-day lockdown, compared to the same number of days before that, said PNP Deputy Chief for Administration Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar.
"Napakaiba, masyadong malayo [ang HRW figures]," he told ANC. "I don’t know saan nanggaling iyon."
(It's too different... I don't know where that came from.)
The PNP "will let the public know" its drug war data for the pandemic later Friday or Saturday, Eleazar said.
The New-York based HRW earlier said 155 people died in the drug campaign between April and July.
"The number of fatalities in these ostensible drug enforcement raids, in which the police routinely claimed that the victims fought back, jumped dramatically from the 26 deaths recorded by the PDEA in 5 months from July to November 2019," it said.
The HRW "stands by" its report, which is based on official government figures published by the Presidential Communications Operations Office, said the group's Deputy Asia Director Phil Robertson.
Meanwhile, Eleazar said more “big fish” in the narcotics trade were arrested during coronavirus lockdown that constricted street-level drug peddling, he said.
For example, he cited the P5.14 billion worth of shabu recently seized in Marilao, Bulacan--one of the biggest hauls by authorities.