Palace wants killings in anti-drug raid in Bulacan probed

Palace wants killings in anti-drug raid in Bulacan probed

Palace wants killings in anti-drug raid in Bulacan probed

A total of 21 suspected dealers were killed in overnight police operations in Bulacan province in Central Luzon in what was believed to be the biggest death toll in a single day as the government intensified its bloody war on illegal drugs.

Philippine National Police said 21 suspected drug users were shot and killed when they resisted arrest, according to ABS-CBN News Channel which quoted provincial police department's Senior Superintendent Romeo Caramat.

In the span of 24 hours, 32 lay dead, and 107 were arrested after Bulacan police conducted a "one-time big-time" drug operation.

Authorities said it seized over 230 grams of suspected crystal meth or shabu, 765 grams of marijuana leaves, grenades, firearms, and ammunition from the suspects.

Police have killed 3,450 people in similar drug raids since Duterte came to office in the middle of previous year, according to government data.

Of the nine towns raided by the police this morning, two suspected drug pushers were killed in Barangay Poblacion Guiguinto Bulacan; wwo men in Barangay Loma de Gato Marilao Bulacan while another one in Barangay Wawa in the town of Balagtas. "We are open to any investigation", he said in a press conference. Ten other gunfights ensued when police tried to serve arrest warrants to suspects who fought back.

"We made a decision to conduct simultaneous police operations to make them feel and see that all drug pushers are being targeted in our campaign against illegal drugs".

"We wanted to shock and awe these drug personalities", Caramat said. They were said to be armed with a 38-calibre revolver and a 9mm pistol. Cash and assorted drug paraphernalia were also recovered.

Despite warnings by human rights groups that Duterte may be overseeing a crime against humanity, the leader remains widely popular in the Philippines.

Last year Duterte also admitted the police force was "corrupt to the core" but continued to give it a leading role in the drug war.

Related news