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More than 5,000 killed in gov't's war on drugs, Ateneo study shows

More than 5,000 suspected drug individuals were killed from May 10, 2016 to September 29, 2017, according to a study by the Ateneo School of Government revealed on Sunday, two years after the Duterte administration's war on drugs began.

Compiled from various news reports from the said period, the study found a total of 5,021 drug-related deaths, claiming it as the "most complete list of casualties that exists."

Of this figure, 47 percent were alleged by police to be small-time drug dealers, 23 percent were individuals on watchlists compiled by police and local officials, and eight percent were alleged by police to be drug users or addicts.

The remaining fraction were either alleged to be drug couriers, narco-politicians, or accused of being involved in drugs. Only less than one percent were alleged by police to be drug lords.


Apart from this, the study found that 40 percent of the killings were in Metro Manila, mostly in Manila, Quezon City and Caloocan City.

In Manila alone, a total of 463 drug-related killings have been compiled.

The rest of killings, meanwhile, were in provinces outside Metro Manila, led by Bulacan, with 644.

Many of the dead were either killed at home or their bodies were found on streets, the study said.

Twenty-four percent of these individuals were killed or found dead in or around a private residence, 27 percent were killed or found dead in a street or alley, and nine percent were killed or found dead in a vehicle.

The study also found that 2,753 or 55 percent of these suspected drug individuals were killed by policemen as part of police operations.

A total of 1,907 or 38 percent, meanwhile, were killed by mostly unknown assailants, and 355 or seven percent were found dead, often with gunshot or stab wounds, and in many cases with handwritten cardboard signs saying there were drug pushers.

The study also revealed that 39 people were killed on the first day of the war on drugs, on July 1, 2016.

These drug-related killings would reach 49 on September 31, 2016, only less than three months after the war on drugs began.

The killings, however, dipped on January 30, 2017, when President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the police to stop their operations following the killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo.

But these would peak again in August 2017 when the police launched multiple anti-drug operations in Metro Manila and Bulacan, killing 101 people in over five days.

GMA News Online is contacting the Philippine National Police for comment as of posting time. 

The latest update of the #RealNumbersPH or the consolidated data on the anti-illegal drug campaign showed that 4,279 drug suspects have been killed, while 143,335 others have been arrested from July 1, 2016 to May 15, 2018, the government said.

The results of the study were published on The Drug Archive Philippines, a project of the research consortium headed by the Ateneo School of Government, De La Salle Philippines, the University of the Philippines Diliman and the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at the Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. —KG, GMA News