Press Release
August 22, 2016

Cayetano: Duterte's anti-drug war has started to restore order in PH
Kicker: 'EJK' being used loosely to discredit admin

Contrary to what the enemies of real change are claiming, Filipino people now feel safer after the Duterte administration waged an all-out war against illegal drugs.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano had this to say during last Monday's (August 22) Senate Justice Committee hearing on the alleged extrajudicial killings of drug suspects under the current administration.

During his five-minute opening statement, Cayetano clarified that there is no significant increase in the number of killings under the Duterte government, as opposed to what the public is being made to believe.

In fact, he added, crime volume even decreased a month after the President assumed power. Citing PNP data, the senator said the country's overall crime volume already dropped by 5,522 incidents after the first 31 days of the new administration.

"The old norm was that drug lords and their cohorts acted in impunity..." Cayetano said. "Ngayon po, the respect and fear of the law have been restored. Drug lords and their supporters are on the run. People are beginning to feel safe. [There is a] renewed trust in the government under President Duterte," he added.

"EJKs being used loosely to discredit the gov't"'

Meanwhile, Cayetano also expressed doubts regarding the justice committee's intention to conduct a probe against officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP), who are in the frontline of the administration's ongoing fight against illegal drugs.

He contested claims that the new government's anti-crime and -drug campaign is solely to blame for the alleged spate of murders in the country.

Cayetano lamented how critics of the Duterte administration are wrongfully branding all drug-related casualties as 'extrajudicial killings' (EJKs).

To prove his point, he cited Administrative Order No. 35 under the Aquino administration, which presented a more specific definition of EJKs. Under the said order, killings involving common criminals were not classified as EJKs.

The senator said before the Duterte administration, most murders involving common crimes were merely classified as "riding-in-tandem" cases. In fact, of the 1,400 people killed during the Aquino administration, only 394 were categorized as EJKs, he cited.

"Are we [therefore] using the term 'extrajudicial killings' loosely to discredit the PNP and Duterte administration? I was hoping that we could educate the people more, para hindi sila ma-mislead na lahat ng patayan [ngayon] ay extrajudicial killings," Cayetano said.

The senator tagged such efforts as mere attempts to undermine the administration's continuous campaign to end the country's perennial problem on illegal drugs. "[The Filipino] people support the anti-drug war, criminals don't. Ang mga kriminal at drug pusher ay gumagastos ngayon... sa kahit ano para i-discredit ang administrasyon na ito, para matuloy ang kanilang multi-billion na negosyo," Cayetano said.

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