PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Ronald Dela Rosa on Monday agreed with the result of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey which shows that poor people are more likely to be killed in the government's war on drugs since there are more of them involved in the narcotics trade.
"Totoo naman talaga. Mas maraming mahirap ang nagbebenta ng droga kaysa sa mayaman," he said. "You have to understand the dynamics of drug pyramid. ‘Yung mayayaman na drug lord, iisa ang drug lord sa taas, pababa ‘yan. ‘Yung pinakamababa ‘yung street-pushing level, puro mahirap 'yun."
[Yes it's really true. There are more poor people selling illegal drugs as compared to the rich ones. You have to understand the dynamics of drug pyramid. There are only few drug lords who are on top and down to street level they are all poor.]
According to the SWS survey conducted nationwide from June 23 to 26, 60 percent of the 1,200 respondents agreed, 33 percent strongly agree and 27 percent somewhat agree that poor drug pushers are more likely to be killed in drugs operations than the rich ones.
Based on the record of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), a total of 3,800 drug suspects were killed while 1,017,156 others were arrested during the conduct of over 70,000 anti-illegal drugs operations.
Dela Rosa, however, said that they are also working against the "big fishes" in the illegal drugs industry.
"Bakit mahirap ba si Parojinog? Mahirap ba si Mayor ng Albuera, Leyte, si Espinosa? Mahirap ba yan? Hindi naman. Kaya nga criticize ng criticize hindi naman natin inaanalyze 'yung data," he said.
[Is Parojinog poor? Is the Espinosa, the former Mayor of Albuera, Leyte poor? They are not. They are criticizing without analyzing the data.]
Dela Rosa was referring to the former Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa and Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog who were both killed after they were named by President Rodrigo Duterte as among the narco-politicians.
Espinosa was killed inside his detention at the Baybay sub-provincial jail while Parojinog was killed after they allegedly engaged the authorities in a firefight during a raid in their residence. (SunStar Philippines)