The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday said it wanted the next administration to continue the country’s war on illegal drugs.

Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said in a “Laging Handa” briefing that the drug war, one of the hallmark projects of the Duterte administration, had caused crime and drug numbers to dwindle.

“Napakaimportanteng bagay ito kaya umusbong po ang pamumuhunan sa ating bansa dahil bumagsak po ang krimen, bumagsak ang iligal na droga,” he said.

The Commission on Human Rights, in its report on drug-related extrajudicial killings in the country released in November 2020, found that only 2.36 percent or 11 of 466 drug personalities who initiated aggression or resisted arrest during police anti-drug operations survived.

According to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, in 200,632 anti-drug operations conducted from July 2016 to April 2020, 6,117 individuals were killed.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, according to some human rights groups, has killed thousands more than the official numbers, including mere bystanders.

The drug war had been under probe by the International Criminal Court, but it was suspended upon request of the Philippine government.

Duterte’s administration has remained firm in refusing to participate in the probe.

The next administration, presumably to be headed by Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., will have former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos as its DILG chief. John Ezekiel J. Hirro