PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald Dela Rosa said Monday that the lower number of suspected drug personalities being killed in police operations indicates that they are now "more careful" in conducting anti-illegal drug operations.
“Ibig sabihin niyan, mas nag-iingat ang kapulisan na ‘wag masingitan ng masasamang tao. Kaya nga natin nireconstitute ‘yung position ng anti-drug units station sa province para masiguro natin hindi masingitan ng taong masasamanang loob,” he said in a press conference in Camp Crame.
“At hindi kung sino-sino na lang ang involved sa operations. Limitado lang ito sa drug enforcement units at leaders of command, hindi kagaya noon na kahit sino pwedeng makialam kaya maraming nangyayaring hindi gaanong nakokontrol,” he added.
Dela Rosa said even before they rejoined in the administration’s war on drugs, he reminded his men to be extra careful in conducting anti-illegal drug operations particularly to avoid the killing of innocent civilians.
For at least a month, the PNP refrained from participating in the government’s war on drugs due to internal cleansing after several policemen were involved in the kidnap-slay of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo inside Camp Crame.
On March 6, the PNP rejoined the intensified campaign against illegal drugs led by the newly-created Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG), which according to Dela Rosa is composed of young bloods who have no records of irregularities in their service.
Dela Rosa said they are aiming that the renewed anti-illegal drug police operations will be less bloody or bloodless at all.
As of 6 a.m. Monday, the PNP said it conducted 1,472 anti-illegal drug operations since March 6, which resulted in the killing of 34 persons and the arrest of 2,311 suspected drug personalities.
In the Project Tokhang, the PNP said it has visited 94,139 houses of drug personalities leading to the surrender of 8,017 drug users and 1,589 pushers.
In the first phase of the PNP's war on drugs, over a hundred alleged drug personalities were killed in its first month. (SunStar Philippines)