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Gov't data shows drug war killings only at 5,856 -PDEA

Government data on Friday showed that only 5,856 drug suspects have been killed since the start of President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial war on drugs in 2016, far less than tally and estimates of non-government and rights groups.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency stated that a total of 176, 777 anti-illegal drugs operations were conducted from July 1, 2016 to August 31, 2020. In these operations, 256,788 drug suspects were arrested.

Of those nabbed individuals, a total of 10,308 were high value targets, which included 282 foreign nationals, 352 elected officials, 102 uniformed personnel, 431 government employees, 2,957 listed targets, 746 drug group leaders and members, 66 armed group members, 986 drug den maintainers, 229 listed wanted individuals, 16 celebrities and prominent personalities, and 4,141 people from high-impact operations.

Due to the operations, a total of P43.69 billion worth of suspected shabu were seized by authorities, PDEA said.

It added that a total of 620 dens and clandestine laboratories have already been dismantled.

A total of 20,165 barangays were already cleared from illegal drugs while 14,171 are yet to be cleared, according to the PDEA.

A total of 3,322 children allegedly involved in illegal drug activities were also rescued during the operations.

Duterte's drug war has been highly-criticized by local and international human rights groups as it is being linked to extrajudicial killings.

The government's figure on the death toll was far less than the various tallies made by non-government organizations, human rights groups, activists and even United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), which was around. These groups said the extrajudicial killings could be around 27,000.

UNHCR's Michelle Bachelet has also called on the Philippine government to "revoke" policies, which allegedly resulted in thousands of killings and human rights violations amid the drug war. -MDM, GMA News