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IT HAS been branded to be the true, the good, if not so beautiful, official report on the war on drugs of the Duterte administration over the last 11 months. Launched last May 2, #RealNumbersPH is now the government’s unitary report on the virulent drug war of the Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs or ICAD, which was created only last March as a task force with representatives from 20 law-enforcement and other state agencies.

PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte has repeatedly said that drugs are the root of society’s many ills. He also seems to see drugs everywhere and in almost anything, even in the ongoing conflict in Marawi. Yet even as his administration’s controversial war against illegal drugs continues to claim lives, it has also spawned a side battle over numbers and public-relation points.

EIGHT YEARS before retired SPO3 Arturo Lascañas admitted to participating in killings done by the Davao Death Squad (DDS), supposedly on the orders of then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, four other individuals had given sworn statements on the DDS and those who they said were behind it.

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