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Philippine authorities have killed nearly 70 drug suspects and arrested 17,000 others since January, even before the start of administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
In a press statement, the Philippine National Police said it has recorded 17,680 neutralized persons, including 68 killed suspects, from anti-illegal drugs operations nationwide from January 1 to June 15, 2016.
"Out of the 68 killed suspects from January 1 to June 15, Police Regional Office in Central Luzon recorded the most number with 25 dead from tactical engagements or encounters," the PNP said.
President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has vowed an intensified campaign against the drug menace and has given government authorities three to six months to curb criminality all over the country.
Law enforcers said the drug suspects were arrested through interdiction operations, service of arrest warrants and search warrants, checkpoints and other form of police operations.
Out of the 17,680 individuals arrested, 4,874 of them are from Region 4A which has the largest number of arrested persons.
Next is the National Capital Region Police Office with 3,760 and followed by PRO 3 with 3,004 arrested individuals.
Police Regional Office 4A in CALABARZON recorded 14 slain suspects in its anti-drug operations during the period.

In 2012, the United Nations said the Philippines had the highest rate of methamphetamine use in East Asia, with the U.S. State Department adding that 2.1 percent of Filipinos aged 16 to 64 were using the drug.
Source: ABS-CBN
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