December 26, 2017 at 12:10 am
John Paolo Bencito
MALACAñANG on Monday claimed that the bloody war against drugs, a campaign President Rodrigo Duterte launched since he took office last year, had been successful in bringing safer communities, but did not cite figures to support such pronouncements.
“It’s been hugely successful. I think the communities are safer and our young people are better protected against drugs,” Palace Spokesman Harry Roque said, replying to questions on his assessment of the administration’s policy.
Bringing back the Philippine National Police into the campaign is “the most efficient means of conducting a war against drugs,” Roque said, despite controversies rocking the police.
He said the crime rate went down by 35 percent, a “major accomplishment’ “not disputed,” but did not cite where he got his figures.
Latest figures of the Philippine National Police showed the volume of crimes in the Philippines dropped to 100,668 index crimes recorded from January to November 2017 or 21.8 percent from 2016.
Homicide incidents, however, are the only ones in the index crime that rose by 14.6 percent in 2017, with 2,386 killings from January to November in 2017.
Earlier this month, Duterte gave another deadline to finish eradicating the drug menace for “just another year” after he ordered the PNP back to his bloody campaign which saw thousands dead since he took over the Presidency.
The President earlier signed Memorandum Order 17, directing the PNP “to resume providing active support” to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, which still remains as the overall lead agency in the campaign against illegal drugs.
Back then, Duterte cited “public clamor” amid the “notable resurgence in illegal drugs in the Philippines and crimes” since the PNP and the other law enforcement agencies yielded in the anti-illegal drug operations.
Aside from the PNP, other law enforcement agencies, including the National Bureau of Investigation, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Postal Corp., will resume providing active support to the PDEA, Roque said.