MANILA - Majority of Filipinos worry that they will be a victim of extrajudicial killings (EJKs), a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey revealed Friday.
Of 1,440 Filipino adults polled, 78 percent said they are concerned that they or anyone they know will be a victim of EJK. This figure is 5 points higher than the 73 percent in June 2017.
Meanwhile, 22 percent said they are "not worried," compared with 27 percent in June 2017.
The worry is highest in Visayas at 83 percent, followed by Metro Manila at 79 percent, Mindanao at 78 percent, and Balance Luzon at 75 percent.
The survey also found 50 percent of respondents said the poor are the usual victims of EJKs, while 48 percent said the killings do not choose a class, and 2 percent said only the rich are targeted.
More than half of respondents at 71 percent, meanwhile, said the government is serious in addressing the EJKs in the country, while 11 percent it was not serious, and the remaining 17 percent undecided.
The government's anti-narcotics campaign has drawn widespread criticism for alleged state-sponsored killings, which it has several times denied.
Some 5,000 drug suspects have been killed in police anti-drug operations, but human rights groups and government critics say this figure is understated.
They suspect that killings carried out by so-called “vigilante groups” were also state-sponsored, citing cases where some policemen were caught in illegitimate operations.
SWS earlier said most Filipinos believe police officers are involved in extrajudicial killings, the illegal drug trade, and planting of evidence against drug suspects.
The Philippine National Police, however, stressed that it follows the law in all operations.
The fourth quarter poll was conducted from December 16 to 19. It has a margin of error of ±2.6 percent for national figures.