SWS: 62% Filipinos afraid of drug addicts in Q2

SOME 62 percent of Filipinos said they were afraid of drug addicts in the second quarter of this year, according to a recent survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

The June 24 to 27 poll results released Monday showed the number of Filipinos who expressed fear of people who are into narcotics was the highest score recorded since March 2005.

The SWS said the current figure rose to seven percent, from 55 percent registered in April 2016.

It said there was a record-high fear of drug addicts in all geographic areas, except in Duterte's bailiwick, Mindanao.

Fear of drug addicts surged in Manila (82 percent from 70 percent in April 2016), Balance Luzon (64 percent from 52 percent in April 2016), and Visayas (60 percent from 49 percent in April 2016).

Only 46 percent of respondents from Mindanao said they were afraid of drug addicts, fell 11-percentage points from April's 57 percent.

Meanwhile, about 53 percent of the respondents said they were afraid to walk at night because it was "unsafe," rose by 11 percent from April's 42 percent. Sixty-four percent also expressed fear of burglary, 12-percentage points higher than 52 percent from April 2016.

The poll body interviewed 1,200 respondents, aged 18 and above, using sampling error margins of ±3 percentage for national percentages and ±6 percentage each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, and Mindanao.

During the campaign for the May 9 presidential polls, Duterte vowed to crackdown on drugs, which he claimed had affected about three million Filipinos. He had assured the public that he will end the drug menace in three to six months.

Duterte's campaign promise had helped him win in the presidential derby, garnering over 16 million votes.

When the Duterte administration took over, about 600,000 Filipino drug dependents have already surrendered while over 1,000 have been killed either by police or by vigilante groups.

But in early September, the President asked for another six months to suppress the proliferation of narcotics, saying the drug situation had worsened.

"I didn't realize how severe and how serious the problem of drug menace in this republic [was] until I became president," the chief executive said. “Even if I wanted to, I cannot kill them all because the last report would be this thick.” (Sunnex)
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