MANILA The Philippine National Police (PNP) will continue to strengthen the Duterte administration's campaign against illegal drugs, its spokesperson said Friday.
Mananatili ang ating kampanya. Ito ang ating mandato (Our campaign stays. This is our mandate), Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told reporters in a press briefing.
He was responding to Vice President Leni Robredo's remarks that the campaign against illegal drugs has failed because it targeted the poor rather than big drug networks.
Banac noted the campaign's success, citing Social Weather Stations (SWS) surveys for the past three years showing that a huge majority of Filipinos support the measure.
We have an 82 percent approval satisfaction rating from the public. That is our basis for saying that we are succeeding in this campaign, he said.
The PNP, he said, assures the public that it will continue to perform its mandate within the bounds of the law and with the utmost respect for human rights.
The second quarter SWS survey, conducted from June 22 to 26, found 82 percent of adult Filipinos satisfied, 6 percent undecided, and 12 percent dissatisfied with the government's anti-narcotics campaign.
According to the SWS, a net satisfaction rating of +70 is classified as excellent and it is tied with the 2019 first quarter rating.
The pollster said the net satisfaction on the anti-illegal drugs campaign has always been either very good or excellent in the past 11 survey rounds, with the highest rating recorded in December 2016 at an excellent +77.
Since it was first surveyed in September 2016, the net satisfaction with the campaign has been excellent in Mindanao, except for the very good +66 in June 2017.
It added that 82 percent of Filipinos in all areas of the country cited the less number of drug suspects in the community as the top reason why they were satisfied with the war on drugs.
On the other hand, the undecided claimed that drug trade and drug suspects are still prevalent while the dissatisfied are the same group who recently gave Duterte a lower net satisfaction rating.
The June 2019 survey also found that net satisfaction with the performance of Duterte was an excellent +76.
The SWS conducted the survey using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide.
Sought for comment, Interior Secretary Eduardo AAo said, "The war on drugs must continue without let-up but with the rule of law keenly observed."
On Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Robredo's remarks did not have a factual basis and that she was merely repeating what her colleagues in the political opposition have said in the past.
In an interview with Reuters, Robredo said the "thousands of people killed were already too many, with no evidence of a decline in drug supply or usage."
Contrary to Robredo's claim, Panelo said, the drug war has been successful in convincing more than one million drug personalities to voluntarily surrender since the start of the anti-drug campaign in 2016.
Under the drug war, he said, close to half a million users have gone through recovery, rehabilitation, and wellness programs.
More than 42,000 barangays (villages) have also been cleared of drugs and more than PHP35 billion of drugs, chemicals, and laboratory equipment have been seized and dismantled, he added.
Panelo said more than a hundred police scalawags, and less than 5,000 drug lords and pushers involved in illegal drugs resisted arrest in buy-bust operations and were killed. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency