MANILA - The number of alleged drug offenders killed in police operations has reached nearly 4,000, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Tuesday.
A total of 3,987 drug suspects were killed between July 1, 2016 to January 17, 2018, according to a "Real Numbers" update from the PNP Public Information Office.
Police have maintained that they had no alternative but to kill drug suspects who allegedly resisted arrest.
Allegations of abuse, however, had prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to remove the roughly 175,000-strong PNP from the war on drugs for the second time in October 2017. But he allowed police officers to participate in the campaign again the next month.
The PNP now says it will practice extreme caution so suspects could be arrested alive in its "less bloody" return to the drug war.
Police data also show there were 2,235 drug-related homicides from July 1, 2016 to January 17, 2018. Out of the total, 413 cases have been solved and 1,822 were still under investigation.
The PNP also said they have arrested 119,361 in over 80,000 operations under the Duterte administration.
Among those arrested were 213 government employees, 189 elected officials and 44 uniformed personnel, police said.
Police operations also yielded some 2,577 kilos of shabu worth P13.24 billion, on top of P19.34 billion in other drugs and laboratory equipment.
PNP said 87 lawmen were killed in anti-drug efforts while 226 were wounded.
-- Report from Henry Atuelan, ABS-CBN News