Majority of Filipinos who expressed worry that they or someone they know may become victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) know drug addicts and pushers, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said Monday. Sought for comment on the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey which indicated that eight out of 10 Filipinos worry about EJKs, Sotto said in a text message: “That means they know many people who are either addicts or pushers.”
The SWS survey conducted from December 3 to 6 using face-to-face interviews with 1,500 adults nationwide shows 45 percent are “very worried” of becoming victims, and 33 percent are “somewhat worried.” Ten percent of those surveyed were “not too worried” while those “not worried at all” represented 12 percent of respondents. Despite this, the respondents supported the Duterte administration's war against illegal drugs but said suspects should be kept alive.
'People do not feel safe' Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, on the other hand, said the survey indicates that people do not feel safe. In a text message, Pangilinan claimed someone is killed every 40 minutes daily based on statistics since July 1, 2016. President Rodrigo Duterte, whose war on illegal drugs has been blamed on the spate of EJKs, took his oath of office on June 30. “Fear for one's safety is bound to surface. The poll results is proof that people do not feel safe in the streets. The only way to address this is to stop the daily killings and put an end to vigilante murders,” Pangilinan said.
Senator Joel Villanueva, for his part, said the survey should urge the administration to consider other means in winning the war on drugs. “Surely, what is happening should really be a cause of concern and the recent survey is the affirmation of that,” Villanueva said. He added that there “is an empirical evidence that support more effective politics in helping individuals with drug addiction.” “We should pursue other options. It is time for all of us especially the government to reconsider other options,” Villanueva said.