Philippine drug war sees 'bloodiest night' of deaths

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Philippine drug war sees 'bloodiest night' of deaths

Earlier, Director General Ronald dela Rosa, the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), reported that from July 1, 2016 when the war started up to June 30 this year, a total of 3,264 suspected drug dealers and users were killed.

A thorough investigation will be conducted on the anti-drug operations in Bulacan province that left dozens of drug suspects dead and arrested, Malacañang said Wednesday.

"Other drug personalities will think twice before continuing with their drug trade".

"As much as possible we wanted to remove those elements that would lead us to a bloody encounter", Caramat said.

He later told AFP that no police had been killed or wounded. More than 2,000 others died in drug-related homicides, including attacks by motorcycle-riding masked gunmen and other assaults.

Human rights advocates as well as foreign governments and worldwide organisations, however, lamented that many of those slain were victims of extra-judicial killings blamed on vigilante groups allegedly linked to the police.

He has often complained about human rights groups criticizing and undermining his campaign and on Wednesday said he would instead investigate them, or worse.

He won a landslide victory in presidential elections a year ago after promising an unprecedented war on drugs in which tens of thousands of people would be killed.

He also promised during the campaign he would win his drug war in three to six months, a vow that resonated with voters fed up with high crime rates and corrupt politicians.

"Look, these shabu (meth) and drugs, et cetera, can not be solved by one man, for a president for one term".

He also downplayed the deaths as he said those killed were notorious for fighting back.

Political opponents of Duterte have filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) accusing the president and top aides of crimes against humanity, arguing they failed to address allegations of widespread police abuses that have been brought to their attention.

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