MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-narcotics campaign scared drug suspects into surrendering to authorities, an administration critic said Wednesday, even as he said that the government was unprepared to handle the scale of the problem.
Malacanang on Tuesday touted the government's achievements in its war on drugs, which saw the arrest of 118,287 suspects and the deaths of 3,967 others.
"Because of the graphic pictures of deaths on the streets, the people are afraid so they surrendered. They hope they will be exempted from the list of those being killed," said Magdalo Party-list representative Gary Alejano.
Alejano said the government was "unprepared" as authorities were "surprised" at the number of number of suspects who surrendered under Oplan Tokhang.
According to the government's year-end report, authorities led 79,193 anti-illegal drug operations from July 1, 2016 to November 27, 2017.
Aside from the arrests and fatalities, authorities also recorded 16,355 cases of homicide under investigation.
There were also more than 1.3 million drug suspects who surrendered from July 1, 2016 to July 26, 2017.
Alejano said the figures would have been laudable if not for the issues of violation of due process of law and human rights.
"All of us support the drive to stamp out illegal drugs in the country. However, the way it has been carried out, that was the problem," he said.
Alejano said he wanted to find out how the Philippine National Police addressed alleged vigilante killings.
"It's very hard for us to validate the figures of the Philippine National Police. But we want to give credit to the Philippine National Police or assume good faith on their part. But I think we need more transparency because we also in Congress would be able to support the Philippine National Police," he said.