At least 26 people have been killed in overnight drug-busting operations that began in Bulacan province yesterday (Monday August 14).
Senior Superintendent Romeo Caramat, provincial police director, said that 64 others had been arrested in 24 buy-bust operations and two raids. He added that operations will continue until this evening and that there had been no reports of any injuries to officers.
Earlier reports of the operation had put the death toll at 21.
He also reported that 21 firearms and more than 100 grams of shabu had been confiscated during the operations.
Two men killed in Marilao, named only as Egoy and Tom, were allegedly armed with a 38-calibre revolver and an improvised shotgun. Six sachets containing about two grams of shabu were seized.
Another two men, named as Enan and Justin, were killed in Obando. They were said to be armed with a 38-calibre revolver and a 9mm pistol. Fifty grams of shabu were seized.
Others killed during the operations were Berth in Pulilan, Alvin in Balagtas, Chris in San Miguel, Jerom in Plaridel, Yayot and an unidentified companion in Guiguinto, Arnold and an unidentified companion in Norzagaray, Willy and Jeffery in Malolos, Elias and Eugene in San Jose del Monte, Macoy in Santa Maria, Pugeng Manyak in Baliwag, and a yet to be identified suspect.
Those killed during the serving of arrest warrants were a man known as Allan Tattoo and an unidentified suspect.
The PNP’s Internal Affairs Service will be conducting an investigation on the operation.
“It’s automatic that if firearms were used, the IAS will conduct an investigation to see if there were any violation of guidelines,” PNP spokesman Dionardo Carlos said at a press conference.
When asked if he was surprised by the bodycount, he said that he believed it was “normal”.
Police records show that since the war on drugs started, 3,264 alleged drug offenders have been killed in gunbattles with law enforcers. More than 2,000 others died in drug-related homicides, including attacks by motorcycle-riding masked gunmen.
Human-rights groups report a higher toll and demand an independent investigation into government officials’ possible role in the violence.