Statistics showed on Wednesday that more than 2,100 suspects have been killed in the past five months in the Philippines amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs, according to police.
The police reported that 2,102 suspects were killed in operations against drug users and pushers from July 1 to December 14.
These operations also resulted in the arrest of 40,932 drug users and pushers, and the surrender of 908,244.
Police are also investigating the killing of 3,993 people for possible connection to the drug war from July 1 to December 12.
Most of the victims of these “deaths under investigation’’ were found dead in streets and back alleys in the country, many bound in tape and with a sign saying, “I’m a drug pusher. Do not be like me.”
Officials have, in the past, admitted that vigilante or hired killers could have been behind some of the deaths, while drug syndicates could be behind other killings.
Duterte, who became president on June 30, said Monday he was not happy about the growing number of people killed in the campaign, but stressed it would only end if the illegal drugs trade stops.
“I am not a killer I do not relish or enjoy a Filipino sprawled there with all the blood I know that people are killed it does not make me happy I am Filipino,” he said.
The United States, the European Union, the United Nations and international human rights groups have criticised the drug war saying it violates human rights and ignores the rule of law.