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Philippines police kill 32 in bloodiest night of Duterte's war on drugs

Philippines police kill 32 in bloodiest night of Duterte's war on drugs

At the celebration of 19th founding anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption held at the Malacanang Palace, Duterte said it was "good" that the drug offenders had been killed in the raid. They called it the highest death toll in a single day since President Rodrigo Duterte launched his "war on drugs" in July a year ago.

Police also denied involvement in thousands of murders by mysterious gunmen, blaming them on gang turf wars, drug dealers silencing informants, or vigilantes targeting drug users.

At least 26 people have been killed in overnight drug-busting operations that began in Bulacan province yesterday (Monday August 14).

"We wanted to shock and awe these drug personalities", Caramat said.

"We know we have done nothing wrong", Caramat said.

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More than 5,000 suspected drug pushers or users have been killed in alleged gunfights with law enforcers and in drug-related homicides since the crackdown started. To date, government said over 3,400 suspects have been killed in police operations since July 2016.

Human rights advocates as well as foreign governments and global organisations, however, lamented that many of those slain were victims of extra-judicial killings blamed on vigilante groups allegedly linked to the police.

President Duterte earlier vowed an unrelenting campaign against the illegal drug trade despite criticisms over the soaring death toll and alleged human rights abuses.

But Duterte, who is limited by the constitution to serving a single term of six years, conceded last week that he may be unable to deliver on his campaign pledge.

On Wednesday Duterte repeated that there were no quick solutions to the drug war, as he claimed not to have known before becoming president the extent of corruption in institutions such as the police force and customs. Ten other gunfights ensued when police tried to serve arrest warrants to suspects who fought back.


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