President Rodrigo Duterte was urged by a senator to resume the war on illegal drugs, saying that drug pushers have gone back to the streets since the suspension of the campaign in January, The Manila Times Online reported on Monday.
Speaking to reporters before a crowd of Duterte supporters at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila last Saturday night, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said he had received complaints of drug traders resuming their business.
A staunch supporter of Duterte, Cayetano said the resurfacing of drug pushers poses a serious threat because illegal drugs come with murder, rape and other crimes.
The pro-Duterte rally on Saturday night drew an estimated 215,000 at its peak at 9 pm, according to the Philippine National Police. The rally ended before noon on Sunday, still with a crowd of about 4,000.
In contrast, the rally at the EDSA People' Power Monument commemorating the 31st anniversary of the 1986 popular uprising that topped then Marcos regime, drew an estimated 1,200 at 8 pm on Saturday.
Cayetano said the drug campaign should be renamed people's war on drugs instead of Duterte's war on drugs because the people should be part of the campaign.
Defending Duterte against criticisms of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug pushers and criminals, the senator claimed that during the time of President Benigno Aquino 3rd , summary killings ranged from 10,000 to 14,000 yearly or an average of 1,000 per month.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)