73% of Filipinos believe drug users dropped since Duterte assumed post

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MANILA, Philippines — Around 73 percent of adult Filipinos are convinced that number of illegal drug users in the country has dropped since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office, based on the latest survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

The survey, conducted from Dec. 13 to 16 and participated in by 1,200 adults via face-to-face interviews, revealed that 14 percent of Filipinos claimed that the number of drug users has increased while 12 percent said that it remained the same.

The same survey also indicated that 76 percent of Filipinos believe that many human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings (EJKs) were committed in the country’s war against illegal drugs.

Of the 76 percent, 33 percent claimed that “very many” abuses were committed during anti-drug operations, 42 percent said “somewhat many” while 24 percent are convinced that there were few abuses committed by authorities.

In a statement, Malacanang said it was not surprised by the high number of respondents who claimed that there were human rights abuses in the implementation of the drug war.

According to presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo, the negative perception was due to moves by critics to “demonize” the country’s war against illegal drugs.

“The administration’s war on drugs has been demonized by the relentless disinformation launched by (the) President’s vocal critics and the political opposition at its inception and not without the cooperation of some shameless media outlets,” said Panelo.

“A lie repeated many times over is somehow stamped with a perception of truth,” he added, saying that peddlers of disinformation have associated the extrajudicial killings with the government’s drug-related operations. (Gerald Alayon/JGo/Currentph.com)

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