Most Pinoys back war on drugs, say extrajudicial killings occur: Pulse Asia

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 16 2017 09:47 AM | Updated as of Oct 16 2017 11:10 AM

76 pct fear falling victim to EJKs
Half say Catholic Church should help in drug rehab

MANILA - (UPDATED) Support for President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs is the majority sentiment among Filipinos, most of whom believe that extrajudicial killings occur under the campaign, according to a Pulse Asia survey released Monday.

The September 24 to 30 poll of 1,200 respondents showed 88 percent support the crackdown on narcotics, Pulse Asia said in a statement.

Only 2 percent of Filipinos do not support the anti-drug campaign while 9 percent were unable to say if they support or do not support the same, the survey results showed. Less than 1 percent were unable to state their position.

"The same levels of support obtain across geographic areas and socio-economic grouping," Pulse Asia said.

The same survey showed that 73 percent of respondents believe that extrajudicial killings occur under the anti-narcotics crackdown. A total of 20 percent of Filipinos do not believe EJKs are happening while 7 percent refused to give their view.

The percentage of Filipinos who do not believe EJKs are occurring declined by 9 percent between June and September, Pulse Asia noted.

Meanwhile, the 6-point increase in the percentage of Filipinos who believe EJKs are taking place "falls short of being considered significant" as it is within the error margin of +3 percentage points, the pollster said.

Pulse Asia however said there was a "notable increase" of respondents from Mindanao who believe in EJKs, at 67 percent from 50 percent.

Prior to the survey, 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos was killed in an anti-drug sweep by Caloocan police.

"Nearly all Filipinos know about the case of Kian delos Santos (94 percent), with most of them (76 percent) expressing concern that they or someone they know may meet the same fate because of the 'war on drugs,'" Pulse Asia said.

This sentiment is shared by "big majorities" in all geographic area and socio-economic classes, the pollster added.

Officers have said Delos Santos resisted arrest and was carrying drugs. Witnesses however said the teenager was mauled by policemen, given a gun and told to run.

Police admitted they verified Delos Santos' alleged drug links a day after the August 16 operation that killed him.

PNP data shows 3,800 people have been killed in operations in which police say armed suspects violently resisted arrest. Duterte's opponents and activists dispute that, saying executions and cover-ups are commonplace, which police deny.

The Catholic Church has called for a stop of the drug war and has launched a 40-day prayer vigil for those killed.

A small majority of Filipinos or 58% percent would like the Catholic leaders to assist with the rehabilitation of drug addicts, Pulse Asia said.

The survey also said around the same percentages of Filipinos say the leaders of the Catholic Church should either monitor the conduct of the anti-illegal drugs campaign (46 percent ) or release statements expressing their concern about related deaths (40 percent).

The non-commissioned Pulse Asia survey asked the following questions:

"Kayo po ba ay sumusuporta o hindi sumusuporta sa kampanya laban sa iligal na droga ng administrasyon ni Presidente Duterte?"

"Naniniwala po ba kayo o hindi naniniwala na may nangyayaring extrajudicial killings o EJK sa pagsasakatuparan ng kampanya laban sa iligal na droga?"

"Kayo po ba ay nababahala/nangangamba na maaring mangyari sa inyo, sa sinumang miyembro ng inyong pamilya, kamag-anak o kakilala ang sinapit ni Kian delos Santos at iba pang napaslang dala ng operasyon laban sa iligal na droga?"

"Ano po ang nararapat gawin ng mga pinuno ng Simbahang Katoliko sa kampanya laban sa iligal na droga?"