Bodies pile up as Filipino police show new boss they’re tough on drugs

Philippine police killed 11 suspected drug dealers during operations at the weekend, police said on Monday, adding to a surge of drugs-related killings since Rodrigo Duterte swept an election last month on promises to wipe out crime. The more than 40 drug suspects killed since Duterte’s May 9 election victory compares with the 39 deaths recorded in the four months before it, said National Police spokesman Wilben Mayor. Duterte’s single-issue campaign of tackling illegal drugs and other crime within six months, and his staunch advocacy of extrajudicial killings, struck a chord with Filipino voters. However, rights groups have rebuked him over concerns that, as president, he would live up to his nickname of “the punisher”.

Our undercover agents killed two known drug peddlers in sting operations.

Adriano Enong, police chief in Rizal province

Duterte takes office on June 30 and has repeatedly reassured police they would have his full support if they killed criminals who resisted with violence. He has also warned that police found to be involved in the drug trade would suffer the same fate. Speculation has been rife in Manila that some police involved in the drugs business were clearing the decks before Duterte takes office by eliminating criminals who could implicate them. However, incoming national police chief Ronald dela Rosa said drug peddlers were killed in legitimate operations. “I would know if these people were killed in rub-outs,” he said in a radio interview.