THE total war on illegal drugs continues to take its toll on the 160,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP), reminding the government that it has unfinished business with the Filipino people.
Records show that since July 1, 2016, the bloody war against drug trafficking and abuse has claimed the lives of 65 policemen and wounded 170 others in various parts of this graft-prone country.
But the death of 3,264 armed drug dealers and users during gunbattles with police operatives is, without doubt, most welcome among the people, particularly the many victims of drug addicts.
And the public also commended the police and local government authorities for the surrender of 1,309,776 self-confessed illegal drug personalities throughout the Philippines.
A total of 64,527 anti-illegal drug operations conducted by the police during the period also resulted in the arrest of 86,030 notorious drug personalities.
The PNP, headed by Director-General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa of Class 1986 of the Philippine Military Academy, said “the losses we have suffered in this particular war on drugs won’t affect our determination.”
In fact, the PNP top honcho said the total war against the drug menace will remain strong, sustained and relentless, drawing cheers from the people, including the ordinary citizens.
In a speech during the 116th Police Service Anniversary celebration, Dela Rosa said the PNP has been “ruthless” not only against pushers and uses but also against scalawags in PNP uniform.
Since last year, he has ordered the dismissal of 247 uniformed and non-uniformed PNP personnel.
And in the view of many, if anything has changed, it is that the government is determined to transform the PNP into a world-class agency that is fully capable of change.