Malacañang claims success in war on drugs

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Drug suspects are led into a crowded jail cell. The Philippine National Police has been conducting raids frequently since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office. He declared a war on crime and illegal drugs after winning the elections.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Malacañang claims the government is winning the war against illegal drugs.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Thursday the voluntary surrender of thousands of self-confessed users and pushers reaffirms the Filipinos’ renewed faith and trust in authorities under President Rodrigo Duterte.

“In his resolute campaign against drugs, the President has even made it possible to unite the populace in combating the illegal drug trade," Andanar said in a statement. "We have to seize the momentum."

Close to 60,000 drug dependents nationwide have surrendered to authorities since the Duterte administration began an intense campaign against illegal drugs.

Andanar said President Duterte's “uncompromising stance towards drug lords” has resulted in “very positive responses, and yet reiterates the police operational protocol.”

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The Duterte government is against extra-judicial killings and does not condone such acts, he said.

“The PNP continues to investigate situations involving vigilante killings and operational aspects where deaths are reported," Andanar said.

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Plans to build rehabilitation centers nationwide are underway. In Central Luzon, police authorities are eyeing facilities in Subic and Clark to house drug-dependents in the region, Andanar said.

Andanar admitted the campaign against drugs “is far from perfect.” But he emphasized that a generation of Filipinos have been saved from “this scourge of society and destroyer of lives.”

“Many communities are now relatively drug-free with record-high number of people giving up to authorities, choosing quieter and healthier lives," Andanar added.

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