Latest Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) data showed that only one individual was killed while 404 others were arrested during drug-operations conducted from October 11 to November 10.
Despite the low statistics compared to the time the drug war was being handled by PNP, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said on Tuesday he would be willing to kill drug suspects if they pose an armed threat to his officers while resisting arrest.
Aquino said in a press conference: “Of course. Why not? Ayaw ko na may mamamatay na PDEA [I don’t want any PDEA agent dead]. As long as it’s proven na [that] the operation is legit and there’s an armed encounter na hindi ‘yung gagawa lang kami ng scenario [and not just we’re making scenarios] or what. Kasi since nakaupo ako sa [Because since I took over] PDEA, I haven’t received any complaint from outside complaining PDEA agents or PDEA personnel.”
According to an article by CNN Philippines, the latest anti-drug operation related death was on October 18 in Davao Del Norte, when an ex-army fought back.
This is very low compared to the Philippine National Police (PNP) data which states that out of the 76,863 anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to September 26, 2017, 3,906 drug personalities were killed.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed a memorandum on October 11 ordering PDEA to take over the government’s war on drugs from the PNP following the outcry over the deaths of drug suspects during police operations.