Philippine Police Kill Over 700 People in Anti-Drugs Operations Since July

© REUTERS / Ezra AcayanResidents transport on a trolley two bodies of men, after police said they were killed by policemen after they fought back during an illegal drugs "Shabu" (Meth) operation in Manila, Philippines August 18, 2016
Residents transport on a trolley two bodies of men, after police said they were killed by policemen after they fought back during an illegal drugs Shabu (Meth) operation in Manila, Philippines August 18, 2016 - Sputnik International
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712 individuals were killed in the Philippines since July 1 during the police anti-drugs operations and another 1,067 killings had been committed by vigilante groups in the same period, according to media reports.

Philippine presidential race front-runner Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his final campaign rally in Manila, Philippines on Saturday, May 7, 2016. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — At least 712 individuals have been killed in the Philippines since July 1 during the police anti-drugs operations, ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte in a bid to end drug crimes in the country, media reported Monday.

Ronald dela Rosa, the Philippines’ police chief, said another 1,067 killings had been committed by vigilante groups in the same period, The Guardian reported.

The official tally in almost two months is higher than the majority of unofficial killings' counts since Duterte was sworn in, the media outlet added.

In this file photograph taken on December 26, 2009, New People's Army (NPA) rebels stand to attention during the 41st founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines at an unspecified location in the hinterlands of Surigao del Sur province, in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. - Sputnik International
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Duterte was sworn in on June 30 after winning the election by a landslide. He immediately launched an anti-drug campaign and vowed to end criminality in the country within six months.

The United Nations and numerous human rights groups, however, claim that his campaign had led to a surge in killings of suspected drug addicts and dealers. The UN special rapporteurs demanded on August 18 that the country respect the basic human rights. Several days later, Duterte threatened that his country could leave the UN after the organization urged him to end what it deems extrajudicial killings.

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