MANILA – The Manila Police District on Thursday admitted that some police officers may be involved in fatal vigilante attacks on drug suspects.
“We are investigating now the possibility of some policemen who are formerly involved in the illegal drug trade are neutralizing or killing their former sources,” MPD Director Senior Superintendent Joel Coronel said during the Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings.
Coronel said retired and active policemen are responsible for five of the total 54 deaths under investigation (DUIs) tallied in Manila between July 1 and October 5.
The MPD, he added, has enough information to conduct follow-up operations that will lead to the filing of cases against these policemen.
The DUIs may also be connected to the failure of drug peddlers to remit money to their syndicates, and the turf war of narcotics rings, Coronel said.
Legitimate police operations, meanwhile, have left 200 drug suspects dead, and has led to the arrest of 1,695 others.
Nationwide, a total of 2,043 drug suspects have been killed amid the government's relentless crackdown on drugs, between May 10 and October 12, data from ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group showed.
Fifty-eight percent of the fatalities died evading arrest while 34 percent were murdered by unidentified assailants and eight percent were found dead away from the crime scene.