Ma­jor­ity don’t be­lieve po­lice:

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

More than half of Filipinos be­lieve many of the sus­pects killed in Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s cam­paign against il­le­gal drugs did not fight back as reported by po­lice to jus­tify the killings, ac­cord­ing to an in­de­pen­dent sur­vey re­leased Wed­nes­day.

So­cial Weather Sta­tions, or SWS, said 54 per­cent of 1,200 adult Filipinos it sur­veyed from June 23 to 26 agreed that many of those killed by po­lice in the crack­down did not re­ally put up re­sis­tance. The na­tion­wide, face-to-face sur­vey had a mar­gin of er­ror of 3 per­cent­age points.

SWS said 25 per­cent of those polled said they were un­de­cided and the rest dis­agreed.

Duterte and po­lice of­fi­cials have de­nied al­le­ga­tions of ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings by po­lice en­forc­ing his crack­down, which has left thou­sands of peo­ple dead since he be­came pres­i­dent last year.

Duterte, how­ever, has pub­licly threat­ened sus­pected drug traf­fick­ers re­peat­edly with death. He warned drug push­ers in a speech late Tues­day that if they are caught with a ton of metham­phetamine, a pro­hib­ited drug, “you are dead.”

Pres­i­den­tial spokesman Ernesto Abella said the SWS sur­vey con­tained “lead­ing and pointed ques­tions that may have un­duly in­flu­enced the an­swer of re­spon­dents” and urged poll­sters “to ex­er­cise pru­dence and ob­jec­tiv­ity to ar­rive at a closer ap­prox­i­ma­tion of pub­lic sen­ti­ment.”

Hu­man Rights Watch said the sur­vey re­sults were not sur­pris­ing and cited its own in­ves­ti­ga­tions that it said showed po­lice and their agents re­ally in­tended to kill sus­pects.

There has been a “crit­i­cal mass of com­pelling ev­i­dence” gath­ered by HRW and the me­dia “that clearly demon­strates that Philippine Na­tional Po­lice per­son­nel and their agents have for the past 15 months con­ducted an un­law­ful killing cam­paign un­der the cyn­i­cal ve­neer of ‘anti-drug’ op­er­a­tions,” the US-based group said. (AP)

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