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Palace: Drug war not vs poor, hapless

21 December 2016

Social Weather Stations (SWS), an independent pollster, asked 1,500 Filipinos nationwide if they were concerned that either they or someone they knew could fall victim to an extrajudicial killing, and 78 percent said they were either very anxious or somewhat anxious.

At least 78 per cent of respondents feared they would fall prey to extrajudicial killing amid the government's anti-drug campaign.

Despite being anxious about EJK, majority of the Filipinos said they were "very satisfied" with the performance of the administration in its campaign against illegal drugs (53%); 32% were "somewhat satisfied;" seven% were undecided; 5% were somewhat dissatisfied; and, 3% were very dissatisfied.

A total of 42% also said they were undecided when asked about their opinion on whether the police are telling the truth that the suspects they killed really resisted arrest; 19% said it was "probably the truth;" 13% believe it was "probably not the truth;" 16% said it was "definitely not the truth;" and, 9% said it was "definitely the truth".

More than 2,000 people have been killed by police in anti-narcotics operations in the Philippines since Duterte took office on July 1.

The PNP also recorded 2,886 deaths under investigation (DUIs) between July 1 and December 12, clarifying that these "are cases of murder pending investigation and are not automatically connected with the campaign against drugs".

Malacañang assured the people yesterday that President Duterte's war on drugs is not aimed at poor, innocent, and hapless individuals. It has sampling error margins of ±3 points.

Of those concerned about extrajudicial killings, 39 percent considered the problem "very serious" and 30 percent "somewhat serious", while 22 percent of respondents remained undecided.

"I am not surprised with the conundrum that people acknowledge that the anti-drug campaign is fitting, so they allow it".

Martin Andanar, the President's communications secretary, said the administration recognized concerns among Filipinos but reiterated that the killings were not state-sponsored.

The Duterte administration assures the Filipino public that it respects the law and uphold the basic rights of our people, regardless of beliefs and political persuasions.

The President, known as "The Punisher", has said he personally killed criminals while he was mayor of Davao City, leading senators to warn him that he risked being impeached.

Of them, 53 percent were "very satisfied" and 32 "somewhat satisfied". "Police authorities who breach procedures are made to answer before the law", he added.

Twenty-nine percent believe the police were not telling the truth while 28 percent believed the police were telling the truth.