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.