Philippine police gun down four drug suspects

Men caught violating the 10pm liquor ban doing push-ups at a police station in Manila yesterday. The station had implemented "Oplan RODY", or Rid the streets Of Drinkers and Youths as a crime prevention effort.
Men caught violating the 10pm liquor ban doing push-ups at a police station in Manila yesterday. The station had implemented "Oplan RODY", or Rid the streets Of Drinkers and Youths as a crime prevention effort.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE- PRESSE

MANILA • Philippine police shot dead four suspected drug dealers while unknown men gunned down two others, officials said yesterday. This raises the death toll for narcotics suspects to 14 this week after president-elect Rodrigo Duterte vowed a war against crime.

Police killed eight other suspects in the country's north including two in Manila during the past week as civil rights monitors warned the government against taking illegal short-cuts to fight crime.

Their deaths come as a crime journalist was shot dead in Manila, police and colleagues said yesterday, the latest addition to a lengthening list of unsolved murders of media workers in the Philippines.

Mr Alex Balcoba, 56, was attacked in central Manila on Friday outside a watch repair shop owned by his family, the country's National Press Club said in a statement.

Authorities have insisted the drug suspects were killed lawfully, with the officers firing back after being shot at during raids.

Four drugs suspects were shot in the southern city of General Santos on Thursday after they fired at undercover police during a sting operation.

In Davao, also in the south, police said unknown gunmen shot and killed two suspected drug dealers this week.

Mr Duterte, the long-time mayor of Davao, won the May 9 presidential election in a landslide largely on a pledge to roll out his city's law-and-order policies nationally.

The controversial politician captivated millions and enraged his critics with vows of ruthless tactics to end crime within six months.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 29, 2016, with the headline 'Philippine police gun down four drug suspects'. Print Edition | Subscribe