Duterte's war on drugs a 'success'

Alleged drug dealers from Hong Kong being escorted to inquest proceedings in Manila on Wednesday. The men were arrested during a raid at a seaport in Olongapo City, Zambales Province. Methamphetamines and equipment used to make illegal drugs were fou
Alleged drug dealers from Hong Kong being escorted to inquest proceedings in Manila on Wednesday. The men were arrested during a raid at a seaport in Olongapo City, Zambales Province. Methamphetamines and equipment used to make illegal drugs were found inside a ship.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

MANILA • The Philippine government yesterday hailed its war on drugs a "success", as police confirmed killing nearly 200 people in a two-month blitz that has outraged rights groups.

President Rodrigo Duterte's office released a statement calling for the authorities to "seize the momentum" of the anti-drug campaign, which has also led to a spate of vigilante killings that one media group claims to have taken some 200 more lives.

"Anti-drug campaign a success," said the title of the statement, released by presidential spokesman Martin Andanar. "While the campaign against drugs is far from perfect, a generation of Filipinos have been saved from this scourge of society and destroyer of lives."

The statement was issued as police released figures showing that officers had killed at least 192 people they said were involved in drugs from May 10 to July 10.

Mr Duterte won the May 9 elections in a landslide after promising in his campaign to eradicate crime within six months by unleashing security forces with shoot-to-kill orders.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2016, with the headline 'Duterte's war on drugs a 'success''. Print Edition | Subscribe