Sun. Feb 28th, 2021

The “Real Numbers” data released by the Philippine government is the most accurate source of information on the campaign against illegal drugs in the country, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said on Tuesday.

PDEA spokesperson Derrick Carreon made this comment in response to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) findings saying there is “reasonable basis” to believe that crimes against humanity were committed under President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-illegal drug campaign.

“We would stand by our Real Numbers. Whatever is the data that they have, it should be released (based on) specific incidents, not on general insinuating statements, that is what (PDEA Director General) Wilkins Villanueva said,” Carreon said in a mix of Filipino and English.

Carreon said that as far as the PDEA is concerned, the agency has performed its duties well.

“As DG Villanueva said, they (ICC) should not issue statements but instead, they should release their data backed with particular incidents otherwise, we would stick to our ‘Real Numbers’ ” Carreon said.

Earlier, PDEA, citing its Real Numbers data, said a total of 10,721 high-value targets  were arrested from July 1, 2016 to Oct. 31, 2020.

The same PDEA report showed  5,942 suspected drug personalities died in the operations.

According to the “Report on Preliminary Examination Activities 2020”, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s office opened in February 2018 a preliminary probe into the death of thousands of suspected drug users and peddlers, including those killed for allegedly resisting arrest or reportedly gunned down by law enforcers disguised as vigilantes.

It added that its official investigation in the Philippines may start in the first half of 2021. SOVEREIGNPH


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