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Ateneo Human Rights Center exec says report on 7,000 killed in drug war came from media

An official from the Ateneo Human Rights Center on Monday said the record on the 7,000 drug-related killings since President Rodrigo Duterte took power was based on media reports.

"'Yung naging basehan ng grupo na nag-research on the drug archive ay media reportings of killings from July 1, 2016 and kung di ako nagkakamali, up to the end of 2018. So lahat ng na-report sa media, may pangalan 'yan, saan nangyari, nakalista lahat doon. 'Yun ang naging basehan ng 7,000 na 'yun," Ray Paolo Santiago, executive director of the group, said in a phone interview on GMA News' Balitanghali.

Santiago admitted that the researchers of the drug archive did not look into the record of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as regards the number of victims of the government's anti-illegal drugs campaign.

Santiago said the researchers aim to create a "more evidence-based source" in determining the real number of those killed amid the drug war.

"'Yung sa amin ay we are to evidence-based research. In terms of data set, ang gusto lang naming ma-establish, ano ang credible way for us to get the numbers," Santiago said.

"Itong Ateneo School of Government, para mas magkaroon ng more definitive way na malaman kung ilan nga ba, trinack nila lahat ng media reporting ng lahat ng napatay based on the current campaign on drugs," he added.

On April 26, researchers said they have found that the official documents that form the legal backbone of government's anti-illegal drugs campaign endanger several human rights.

According to the researchers of the Ateneo Human Rights Center, human rights concerns begin at how the police "persuade" suspected drug personalities to change their ways.

PNP chief Police General Oscar Albayalde has said police are open to suggestions from other sectors about the anti-illegal drugs campaign as well as in enforcing the law. —Anna Felicia Bajo/LDF, GMA News