This Is the Latest Chilling Statistic to Emerge From the Philippine War on Drugs

Dec 05, 2016

In 51 drug busts conducted by Philippine police that involved shooting, nearly every suspect was killed.

That's according to an investigation conducted by Reuters, which found that of 103 drug suspects 100 were shot dead and just three injured — a 97% kill rate. Of the three who weren't killed, two had played dead.

The figure powerfully undermines the official explanation that police open fire in self-defense and far exceeds the ratio of police killings to injuries in other jurisdictions — even in those whose police have been accused of perpetrating extrajudicial killings. In Rio de Janeiro, for example, police injured one person for every five people they killed between 2013 and 2015, according to Human Rights Watch figures cited by Reuters.

In the incidents examined by Reuters, police killed 33 people for every person injured.

The Philippine police meanwhile say that only 17 officers have died in antidrug operations since July 1. That's one officer for every 118 suspects killed — far fewer than in Brazil, South Africa or the U.S.

More than 5,800 people have been killed since President Rodrigo Duterte began his war on drugs five months ago. Of those deaths, more than 2,000 occurred during what were described as "legitimate police operations."

However, Jun Nalangan, a special investigator at the government-funded Philippine Commission on Human Rights, told Reuters that "there is no such thing."

He said: "Instead of drug bust operations, they are conducting extrajudicial killings.”

Read the full Reuters report here.

TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.