From the Office of the Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on the 4th Quarter 2016 SWS Survey, 19 Dec. 2016

We are thankful to the Filipino people for their continued expression of satisfaction on the Duterte administration’s war against illicit drugs as reflected in SWS 4th Quarter Surveys.

The success of the first phase of President Duterte’s war against illegal drugs is evident when  great majority (85%) of our people – from the previous third quarter’s 84%– remains satisfied with the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.  Almost nine of ten Filipinos further said that the drug problem in their areas lowered since the President took office on June 30.

On the worry of Filipinos about becoming victims of extrajudicial killings, we recognize our people’s concern as we assure them that the government’s anti-drug operations are not aimed at poor, innocent, hapless individuals.

Extrajudicial killings are not state-sponsored and we denounce riding-in-tandem murders perpetrated by common criminals wrongly attributed in news reports as part of police operations.

Murder is murder.  What our authorities are conducting are legitimate police operations that require observance of operational protocols.  Police authorities who violate procedures are made to answer before the law.  Suspected drug personalities who resist and fight back with arms have to be dealt with appropriately.  The proper enforcement of our laws requires the use of reasonable force merited by the attendant circumstances.

While 78% of our people are worried about EJKs, not far from that figure – 70% — said that the Duterte administration is serious in addressing the problem of EJKs.  We therefore thank our people for their constant and steadfast support.

Rest assured that the Duterte administration respects the law and uphold the basic rights of our people, regardless of beliefs and political persuasions.