By: Elena Grace Flores
Killings of drug-related criminals rose to 69 from the day Duterte won as President. Five more suspected drug dealers were shot dead by Manila policemen in Quiapo district as Chief Inspector Michael Garcia, head of the Manila Police District’s (MPD) Station 3, confirmed that the five were gunned down when they engaged themselves with a gun battle with the authorities.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared an all-out war on illegal drugs and even ordered the policemen to shoot and kill those criminals when their lives are jeopardized. At least 69 drug suspects had been killed by the police after he won the May 9 elections. 54 died out of the 69 from May 10 to June 20, 2016. On the president’s inauguration date, the Bulacan provincial police launched an anti-drug trafficking blitz and killed nine drug suspects.
Senator Panfilo Lacson admired Duterte’s efforts saying; that the country’s problem in criminality, drugs and corruption within the PNP worsened because of the failure of the past administration to grant the PNP chief authority that is equal to their responsibility.Lacson said peace and order suffered because the PNP chiefs were not allowed to initiate their own program. Unlike in Duterte’s administration, government forces are given freehand in using their discretion to shoot and kill any suspected drug dealer on the ground of self defense. The sentiments of the president are also echoed by the PNP Chief who was known as Bato or stone.