Various international bodies and media, even the Philippines own politicians and media, have repeatedly used the figure 7,000 to sum up the number of deaths that is allegedly linked to the drug war waged by President Rodrigo Duterte. This is gravely incorrect.
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Manila Times columnist Rigoberto Tiglao pointed out in his article “How Rappler misled EU, Human Rights Watch, CNN, Time, BBC — the world” that it was media giant Rappler that instigated this deceiving figure in one of its regularly updated articles that was first posted in September 13, 2016.
Rappler’s article stated that “There had been over 7,000 deaths linked to the ‘war on drugs’ – both from legitimate police operations and vigilante-style or unexplained killings (including deaths under investigation) from July 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.”
Tiglao gave the breakdown of the same Philippine National Police data that Rappler based its faulty figures on:
Suspected drug personalities killed in police operations – 2,555
Victims in cases of deaths under investigation or investigation concluded – 4,525
Total – 7,080
Upon perusal, Tiglao asserted that “the Rappler report is so patently wrong, I can only attribute it not to stupidity but to malice. It included 4,525 “deaths under investigation or investigation concluded” as killings related to the ant-drug war – which they aren’t!”
Deaths under investigation or investigation concluded “refer to all murders and homicides, whether it is the result of road rage, robbery, or deadly love triangles— and not just those related to the anti-illegal drug campaign,” as Tiglao explained.
Tiglao cited another media giant, Philippine Daily Inquirer, which reported the PNP data more accurately.
•There were 2,107 killed in the campaign against illegal drugs from July 1 to February 16, which is even smaller than the PNP’s figure of 2,582, even if the police’s number includes drug-related deaths up to March 15.
•Out of this, 1,137, or 54 percent of the total, were killed in police “buy-bust” and Operation Tokhang operations, as well as in the course of serving of search or arrest warrants. Some 970, or 40 percent, were found dead – “killed by unknown hit men,” as the PDI described it.
•Other than the 132 killed with such notes on cardboards pinned on the corpses saying, “I am a drug lord”, or a “I am a pusher,” the paper however doesn’t explain how it, or the police, concluded that the other 838 killed were killed as a result of the anti-drug war.
•Some 385, or 18 percent, couldn’t be identified.
The number of deaths that is directly linked to the drug war amounts to 2,107, a far cry from the 7,000 Rappler and even Vice President Leni Robredo claimed.
Tiglao adds that the “the geographical distribution of those killed in the anti-drug war is revealing: 1,131, or 55 percent, of the 2,048 cases in which their location was determined, are only in five cities, known to be havens of the illegal-drug trade: Quezon City, Cebu, Manila, Pasay and Pasig.”
7,000 deaths due to drug wars is fake news Reviewed by Newsinfo Learn on March 21, 2017 Rating: