MANILA - The head of the Philippine National Police's (PNP) human rights office reiterated that the organization does not condone human rights violations and that it values the life of suspects arrested.
Chief Supt. Dennis Siervo, director of the PNP's Human Rights Affairs Office (HRAO) stressed that killings happen in the war on drugs because suspects violently resist arrest.
"There is an armed confrontation... These drug personalities were armed and they were shooting at our personnel. Our personnel had to fight back," he said in a press conference Tuesday.
Siervo added that out of 57,554 anti-drug operations conducted in the same period, they were able to capture 72,812 suspects alive.
PNP data also show there were over 1.2 million drug suspects who surrendered to the police as part of the administration's war against drugs.
"It is a manifestation that we value the life of the suspect also. Unless otherwise [or] baligtad na millions have died and scores or thousands were arrested. Pag ganun siguro, may problema," he said.
"It's more on persons arrested, buhay pa compared to those who died during armed encounters," he said.
Part of the Duterte administration's presentation at the United Nations' Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, Switzerland recently was the "real numbers" on the war on drugs.
PNP data show that a total of 2,949 drug personalities were killed in operations conducted by the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the last 10 months.
Meanwhile, Siervo also said the PNP delegates also met with members of a European Union committee in Brussels and convinced them to support the PNP's war on drugs.
"We gave them a first-hand account of the situation in this anti-illegal drug campaign. Natuwa sila. They were enlightened... It was not that much," he said.
He said the EU committee offered assistance to the PNP, like training and seminars on human rights.-- with reports from Henry Atuelan, ABS-CBN News