Philippines police count puts number of drug deaths at 103, nearly 6,000 arrested

Since the stepped-up campaign against drug abuse on May 3, at least 103 people had been killed in encounters with authorities, according to the Philippine National Police.

Another 5,845 people have been arrested, Senior Supt. Jonardo Carlos told reporters.

The number of people killed in the campaign in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Eastern Visayas only refers to those who resisted arrest, and excludes those who were found dead or reportedly salvaged, the PNP spokesperson said.

Discrepancy

Asked about the discrepancy between the police and the media reports, Carlos said the PNP was continuously updating, validating and correcting the reported deaths and arrests.

Carlos said the death toll did not include a policeman who died in one of the encounters.

For instance from May 3, the police monitoring data showed that only six were killed in the National Capital Region.

The increased number of arrests, Carlos said, signified the trend that more people were surrendering because of the current anticriminality drive in the country.

Carlos added there were more "street-level" drug suspects arrested since there were more policemen operating and going after the suspects in the streets.

Force multipliers

To ensure that rights of the women and the family of the victims are not violated, Carlos said barangay personnel served as force multipliers in the operations.

Carlos, who claimed to be not the proper person to talk about "illegitimate killings," said the only legitimate operations were those conducted and coordinated with the PNP.

Complaints welcome

The illegitimate killings, including those committed by vigilantes, will all be investigated, he added.

"We are presuming there is a regularity in the conduct of the arrests," Carlos said, adding that they welcome complaints against "erring" policemen.