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UST’s The Varsitarian calls Bato’s vow of bloodless drug ops a sham: Only the poor get killed

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The University of Santo Tomas’ official student publication has chided Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa for once promising to make the war on drugs less bloody, only to have more poor people die.

In its September 2 editorial written in Filipino, The Varsitarian said Dela Rosa’s promise last March to for a “less bloody or even bloodless” anti-narcotics campaign against high-value targets only resulted in more dead bodies of the poor on the streets.

“Nangyari na nga, walang dugong dumanak mula sa malalaking pangalang iniuugnay sa ilegal na droga. Karamihan pa sa kanila ay naabsuwelto, kahit iyong nahuli mismo sa raid sa imbakan ng droga,” the editorial read.

“Kung hindi kasinungalingan ang ‘bloodless campaign,’ malinaw itong kapalpakan,” the paper said.

The Varsitarian slammed the drug war anew at the heels of the death of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos, who was killed during the anti-drug operations of the Caloocan City police in August.

Cops had claimed that Delos Santos was shot because he resisted arrest, but surveillance footage and eyewitness accounts indicate otherwise.

Following Delos Santos’ death, police claimed he was also a drug runner. But during the Senate hearing on the issue, it emerged that cops only based the claim on social media, after the teenager was killed.

That the cops will solely rely on social media for their intelligence alarmed The Varsitarian due to the multibillion-peso funds allocated to the PNP.

“Pinakamasahol sa balitang ito: patay na si de los Santos bago ang ‘kumpirmasyon’– na, kayhirap ulitin, batay sa social media.
Mayroong mali,” the paper said.