Police: 32 dead, 107 arrested in province-wide drug sweep

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 16) — Thirty-two drug suspects were killed, and more than a hundred rounded up by police in anti-drug operations across the province of Bulacan, officials said Wednesday.

These suspects were killed in separate incidents Tuesday as police in Bulacan conducted 49 buy-bust operations and three checkpoints, and served 14 search warrants throughout Bulacan, the Bulacan Provincial Police Office said in a statement.

At least 107 other suspects were arrested during the "simultaneous operations" which the police called "One Time Big Time."

Authorities said it seized over 230 grams of suspected crystal meth or shabu, 765 grams of marijuana leaves, grenades, firearms, and ammunition from the suspects.

"The Bulacan police is continuously and relentlessly implementing its intensified campaign against illegal drugs otherwise known as 'Project Double Barrel Reloaded' and all other forms of criminality," the statement said.

Read: Duterte praises police for 32 overnight drug kills in Bulacan

The anti-drug operations took place in the towns of Balagtas, Bulakan, Baliwag, Calumpit, Guiguinto,  Pandi, Plaridel, Pulilan,Obando, Norzagaray, Marilao, Santa Maria, San Miguel, city of San Jose Del Monte, and Malolos, the provincial capital.

The police relaunched a "less bloody" anti-illegal drugs campaign on March 6, after over 2,500 drug suspects were killed during the first wave of its "Oplan Tokhang" in 2016. To date, government said over 3,400 suspects have been killed in police operations since July 2016.

Local and international human rights groups claim more than 9,000 have died as a result of the drug war's alleged extrajudicial killings, which the government has denied.

In his second State of the Nation Address on July 24, President Rodrigo Duterte said his all-out war against illegal drugs will continue.

Read: Duterte administration's controversial drug war

On August 12, however, he said his hardline anti-drugs campaign faced tough challenges and that "we can't control" the drug problem.