- Since July 1, an estimated 7,000 drug pushers and users have already given themselves up to the authorities
- Many of those who surrendered were afraid of getting killed by the police and vigilantes for their illegal practices
- Community members from schools, villages and civil society groups will monitor the drug offenders who have promised to change their lives
Approximately 7,000 drug offenders have surrendered voluntarily to the police since July 1, a day after President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte assumed office, according to a top Philippine National Police (PNP) official in Central Luzon region.
According to regional police director Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, the number of suspected drug criminals being killed by both the police and vigilantes have dramatically increased after Duterte was inaugurated as the new President of the Philippines. Aquino believes that the statistics have made drug offenders surrender themselves because they got scared for their lives.
Statistics show that 45 drug offenders – including both the dealers and the users – have been killed by policemen from July 1 to 7 due to resisting arrest during buy-bust operations and when they were being served arrest or search warrants. Only 20 suspects were killed by cops for the whole month of June.
“We are open to an investigation [for the spate of extrajudicial killings],” the regional police director said.
Aquino added that many of the offenders who yielded had promised to completely leave pushing or using drugs behind.
On Sunday alone in Nueva Ecija, more than 2,000 drug dealers and users in Cabanatuan City vowed to renew their lives and find honest jobs for themselves.
Cabanatuan City police chief Supt. Joselito Villarosa Jr. pointed out that many drug offenders in their city surrendered on account of the city police’s house-to-house campaign which encouraged them to give themselves up and to leave behind working for various drug syndicates.
Those who promised to change their ways will now be monitored closely by community members of villages, schools, and civil society groups to check if they will live honest lives from now on.
Aquino gave a warning to the drug offenders who still refuse to give up their illegal practices.
“Those who are not surrendering are prepared to slug it out with us,” the regional director said.