MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign promise of waging a war against illegal drugs not only put behind bars tens of thousands of so-called “drug personalities” and led to the surrendering of hundreds of thousands of Filipinos.

A starker reality, more than anything, is the thousands of lives ended in the line of war against a trade the Philippine police has been fighting for decades, but has yet to achieve the goal of total eradication or at least a term-long absence for any sitting president or police chief that promises such.

Inquirer.net, the online news portal of Philippine Daily Inquirer, created a rather impressive parallel count of the death toll of the drug war. The list, gathered through extensive efforts of the newspaper’s beat reporters and editors across the nation, gives us a more detailed preview of the lives ended during the initially-promised six-months-long war on drugs by President Duterte.

Of the 2,016 listed names on the Inquirer’s ‘kill list’ as of Jan. 22, 1,702 or 84.42 percent were males, and just 33 or less than two percent were females. The remaining 14 percent or 281 entries did not mention the sex of the killed person.

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Fifty-three percent or 1,070 of the listed names were killed during police operations while 926 or 46 percent were killed by “unknown gunmen” or vigilantes.

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When it comes to location where the dead body was found, the top five locations were in Metro Manila, with the exception of Cebu who came in second with 231 on the list being recorded on the island-province.

Quezon City topped the list with 295 deaths, while the City of Manila came in third at 197; Pasay City at 118; and Pasig at 109 entries on the kill list.

Caloocan, Bulacan, and the province of Quezon came in as sixth, seventh, and eighth with 82, 81, and 53 deaths, while Rizal and Nueva Ecija completed the top ten with 49 and 48 deaths, respectively.

The remaining 753 deaths were scattered across other areas of the Philippines. The top 10 makes 62.65 percent of the total killed in the Philippines due to President Duterte’s campaign on illegal drugs based on those reported by Inquirer.net and its affiliates.

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Quezon City has a 92.25 percent barangay drug affectation rate as of 2014 according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, GMA News reported. Seven cities (Caloocan, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Makati, Pasay, and Parañaque) and the municipality of Pateros were then reported to have a 100 percent barangay drug affectation rate for that year, meaning all of its barangays were affected by illegal drug use and trade.

The same report also mentioned that only 131 of the 1,706 barangays in Metro Manila cities and municipalities were reported as “drug-free”.

While the “kill list” was consolidated through a collaborative effort of beat reporters across the country, there is still a sizable gap between the tolls of listed names by the Inquirer compared to those reported by the Philippine National Police.

As of Jan. 14, or eight days earlier than the timeframe of the consolidated data from the “kill list”, PNP reported that there were 2,239 drug suspects killed and 45,194 arrested since July 1, 2016. More than a million “drug personalities” also surrendered, according to the police advisory.

PNP also reported that there were 41,676 operations conducted during this period under Project Double Barrel and Project Double Barrel Alpha, while 6,309,617 houses were visited under Oplan Tokhang, the police’s grassroots campaign against illegal drugs.

Police advisories about their Project Double Barrel “accomplishments”, however, do not include breakdowns based on sex, specific location, and other details about the “drug personalities”. – RealTalk, February 3, 2017

Posted by Nacho Domingo

Nacho is RealTalk’s assistant editor and a founding member.

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