• Malacañang Palace affirmed that their war against drugs is successful
  • Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the 600,000 who surrendered was a record
  • Since the administration launched an anti-narcotics campaign, more than 1,900 drug-related deaths have been recorded

Even if it has been criticized for the volume of deaths, Malacañang maintained that the war against drugs President Rodrigo Duterte has launched was successful.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that the administration has set a government record of more than half a million of those who surrendered in just two months into office.

“A world-record of more than 600,000 surrenderees proved the effectivity of the campaign. While it has not been perfect, it gives the government the momentum to move on to the next phase,” Abella was quoted in an Inquirer story published August 30.

Since the administration intensified their efforts into clamping down illegal drug peddlers, there have been more than 1,900 killed based on the data presented by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa in a Senate probe last week.

Dela Rosa said that out of this number, only 650 were killed during operations when drug pushers resisted arrest by the authorities.

Various human rights advocates, including the United Nations, has criticized Duterte for the spate of drug-related killings.

But Duterte remained firm that he will intensify his anti-narcotics campaign. He named drugs as a crisis in the country.

In a speech delivered Monday, the President even offered a bounty of P2 million for erring cops who are drug protectors.

Earlier, Duterte bared a shame list of over a hundred government officials who are involved in illegal drug trade. A significant part of the list are police and military officers.

Fighting crime, particularly extinguishing illegal drug trade in the country, is the major campaign promise of Duterte that launched him to the presidential seat by 16 million votes.