VERA FILES FACT CHECK: PNP Chief Dela Rosa understates war on drugs figures

READ THIS FACT CHECK IN FILIPINO

Philippine National Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa, in a Senate hearing Sept. 5 on the killing of 17-year-old student Kian Delos Santos, understated his war on drugs figures.

STATEMENT

Responding to Sen. Franklin Drilon’s question on the number of individuals killed during “legitimate” police operations since July 1, 2016, Dela Rosa said:

“2,216, your honor, 2,216.”

(Source: Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Hearing, September 5, 2017 watch from 1:28:27 to 1:29:25)

FACT

Dela Rosa's figures do not match the ostensibly “real numbers” on the war on drugs published by the PNP itself, in its own website.

An infographic called “Real Numbers PH,” which appears on the homepage of the PNP website, puts the number of “drug personalities who died in anti-drug operations” at 3,811 during the period July 1, 2016 to Aug. 29, 2017.

“Real Numbers PH” data is sourced from four government agencies involved in the anti-illegal drugs campaign: the PNP, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Customs.

BACKSTORY

Before Dela Rosa, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte himself on several occasions blundered on figures on the war on drugs, the supposed centerpiece policy of his administration.

On Aug. 4, Duterte exaggerated the monetary value of shabu confiscated during his term. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte skews war on drugs figures; Aquino gets it wrong too)

On Aug. 21, he incorrectly claimed that two to three cops are being killed every day in the war on drugs. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte says 2-3 cops killed daily in war on drugs)

Sources:

Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Hearing, September 5, 2017

Philippine National Police official website, Real Numbers PH update July 1, 2016 to Aug. 29, 2017

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative.)

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