There are two sides in every story. The New York Times article entitled “They are Slaughtering Us Like Animals,” dated 7 December 2016 is totally one-sided as it depicts the Philippines as the Wild, Wild West in this part of the world.This is farthest from the truth.
If the reporter had bothered to check the facts of the 3,000 deaths under investigation by the Philippine National Police, only 1,080 are drug-related. The rest are murder and homicide cases perpetrated by gunmen which the Philippine National Police (PNP) is now investigating, the results of which will be made public in due time.
The police have nothing to do with these killings. The President has not given any direct order for them to kill drug dealers and users on mere suspicion. Police operatives only neutralize those who violently resist arrest, or else they could be the ones who end up dead. Thus, the President’s marching order to the police is that they have the right to defend themselves when their lives are endangered.
There are police officers who have already died or been killed in the war on drugs. This demonstrates the magnitude of the drug problem in the country and the need for resolute and decisive response by law enforcement. As President Duterte pointed out in his first State of the Nation Address, “To our police officers and other officials, do your job and you will have the unwavering support of the Office of the President. I will be with you all the way. Abuse your authority and there will be hell to pay, for you will have become worse than criminality itself.”
We ask the foreign media to present both sides of the story when reporting on the Philippine war on drugs. We in government, including the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies, would be more than willing to help in unearthing the truth and presenting the facts about the drug menace to the public.