A Palace Communications official dismissed a declaration from VERA Files on Tuesday that more than 20,000 individuals were murdered in the government’s drug war.
PCOO Chief Brand Integrator and Assistant Secretary Ramon Cualoping III stated that the 20,000 death toll is very bloated. They recognize that individuals have been murdered during drug activities, but they disagree that more than 20,000 have been murdered.
Vera Files called PCOO Assistant Secretary Marie Rafael Banaag over the weekend for saying that there were only 5,425 deaths during the drug war when the Supreme Court asked the government in 2018 to explain the more than 20,000 deaths in its anti-narcotics campaign.
The figure was based on the 2017 Yearend Report of the Duterte Administration.
There are also more than 20,000 fatalities were filed under investigative homicide instances resulting from road rage, property dispute, company rivalry, family dispute, love triangle, passion crimes or politics.
As of May 31, 5,489 were murdered in the administration’s war on drugs, Cualoping said, quoting information from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
But the PCOO has yet to reconcile PDEA’s stats with Philippine National Police (PNP) information.
They would prefer the PDEA amount because they always talk to PDEA on a weekly basis.
The PCOO intends to publish information on officers facing complaints about the drug war in the next couple of weeks.