‘We have no history of underreporting’: Philippine police on drug war deaths

International group Human Rights Watch had earlier claimed that the Philippine National Police was underreporting the number of drug war deaths.

Daniza Fernandez

Daniza Fernandez

Philippine Daily Inquirer



November 22, 2022

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) claimed on Monday that they have no history of underreporting drug war deaths, contrary to what critics say.

“Unang-una ay ‘yung sinasabi nila na nagkakaroon ng underreporting ang PNP ay ‘yan naman po ay pinabubulaanan natin dahil wala naman pong history ang PNP na nagkakaroon ng underreporting,” PNP spokesperson Colonel Jean Fajardo said on Teleradyo’s Sakto.

(First, we deny their statement that there is underreporting in PNP because we do not have a history of underreporting.)

“In fact, we are very transparent in terms of our police operations and even our accomplishments even from the past,” she added.

International group Human Rights Watch (HRW) earlier claimed that the PNP is underreporting the number of drug war deaths.

READ: Int’l rights group claims PNP underreports drug war deaths under Marcos admin

Citing data from the University of the Philippines Third World Studies Center, the HRW said that there were 127 drug war deaths, higher than the police’s record of 46.

READ: PNP: 46 killed in drug war under Marcos ‘very minimal’

Fajardo noted that the group does not share where they got their figures. On the part of the PNP, meanwhile, data may be opened to prove that they are not hiding something, the spokesperson said.

According to the spokesperson, underreporting the numbers would be difficult to do as the PNP has a system that collects the data.

“Napakahirap po ngayon mag-underreporting dahil ‘yung atin pong mga police operation, even ‘yung ating mga insidente, ay talagang pumapasok na po ‘yan daily sa data system po ng PNP, and it will be very difficult po na basta baguhin po ‘yan dahil sistema na po ‘yan ng PNP,” explained Fajardo.

(It is hard to underreport because our police operations, even incidents, are transmitted to the PNP daily data system, and it will be very difficult to tamper with the system.)

Based on government data, fatalities in the war on drugs under Marcos’ predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte, are more than 6,000 as of April 30.

In a bid to rid the country of illegal narcotics, Duterte launched a brutal war on drugs that killed thousands of individuals.

He is under scrutiny by the International Criminal Court for supposed crimes against humanity.

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