Asia - Pacific

61 killed under Marcos admin. as ‘war against illegal drugs’ continues in Philippines

Monitoring group says ‘state agents still top the assailants’ but hotspots have shifted from National Capital Region

Riyaz ul Khaliq  | 11.01.2023 - Update : 11.01.2023
61 killed under Marcos admin. as ‘war against illegal drugs’ continues in Philippines


With no letup in the so-called “war against illegal drugs,” at least 61 people were killed in the Philippines in the last six months of the last year under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“Between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2022, 61 alleged drug offenders were slain in the government’s anti-illegal drug operations,” Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo told Daily Inquirer.

“That includes joint operations with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency,” the PNP spokesperson said Wednesday.

Data from Dahas, a monitoring project run by the University of the Philippines, however, revealed: “There were 175 drug-related killings in the country during Marcos’ first few months as President, or between 12 noon of June 30 and December 31, 2022.”

“This brings the total drug-related death toll to 324 in 2022 – a year that saw both the tail-end of the Duterte administration and the start of the Marcos administration,” Dahas noted.

“State agents still top the assailants, and pushers the top targets but hotspots have shifted from the National Capital Region and Negros Occidental to Davao City and Cebu,” the group claimed.

The Philippines' “war on drugs” was launched in June 2016 under the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte conducted large-scale arrests of drug dealers and users and allowed the police to kill every criminal and drug user.

In 2018, Duterte announced the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute, which took effect in March 2019.

However, the International Criminal Court opened a probe into alleged crimes against humanity in the “war on drugs” in 2021.

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