MANILA— Malacañang on Thursday vowed that investigations into the simultaneous Bulacan raids that killed 32 alleged drug offenders would be impartial, even as it downplayed skepticisms over a large number of suspects killed in the police operations.
“There will be a fair and impartial investigation on the recent Bulacan raids,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella.
The Bulacan raids, as it is popularly known, were a series of simultaneous police anti-illegal drug operations that were conducted in a 24-hour period, from 12:01 a.m. Tuesday (August 15) to 12:00 a.m. Wednesday (August 16).
A large number of deaths was met with criticisms and several sectors have called out for an investigation on the matter.
However, Abella attributed the number of deaths to the wide scope of the operations and to the violent response of the suspects.
“The Bulacan raids, we have to underscore, are not the result of a single action, but a wide ranging simultaneous police operations against illegal drug offenders conducted in the whole province of Bulacan,” he said.
“Local authorities were met with violent resistance as evidenced by the recovery of firearms, grenades and live ammunitions,” Abella said.
According to the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Bulacan raids consisted of 66 anti-drug operations where 20 armed encounters were reported.
Besides the death of 32 suspects, the raids resulted in 109 arrests and the recovery of about PHP1 million worth of illegal drugs and 34 firearms.