More blood but no victory as Philippine drug war marks its first year

Duterte took power on June 30 last year, vowing to halt the drug abuse and lawlessness he saw as “symptoms of virulent social disease.”

Thanks to his campaign, government officials say, crime has dropped, thousands of drug dealers are behind bars, a million users have registered for treatment, and future generations of Filipinos are being protected from the scourge of drugs.

“There are thousands of people who are being killed, yes,” said Oscar Albayalde, Metro Manila’s police chief told Reuters. “But there are millions who live, see?”

A growing chorus of critics, however, including human rights activists, lawyers and the country’s influential Catholic Church, dispute the authorities’ claims of success.



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