Vicente Sotto III on Monday said the Philippine National Police deserves to be commended for the number of people arrested in the drug operations conducted within the first three months of the Duterte administration.
At the resumption of the Senate hearing on alleged extrajudicial killings, Sotto asked PNP chief Dir. Gen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa about the latest statistics of the drug war that formally began last July 1.
Dela Rosa said 22,387 people have been arrested in the 23,474 drug operations conducted as of 6 a.m. on Oct. 3. Meanwhile, 1,375 were killed in the operations, allegedly for fighting arrest.
The police chief said the thousands arrested are "buhay na buhay."
Sotto, who claims to be staunchly against illegal drugs, said the number of those killed is a small percentage compared to those arrested, but he noted that the international media only highlights the former.
"Around five person lang 'yung lumalaban, pero 'yun lang ang hina-highlight ng international media—'yung lumalaban na napapatay.
Hindi nila hina-highlight, they have not highlighted the fact that you have had 22,387 arrests in this drug war, with 23,474 operations only from July 1 to the present," he said.
"In the last 10 years before that, sigaw ako nang sigaw sa Senate floor... Kaya ako nagmamaktol dito sa Senate floor, halos every Congress, mga anim o pito ang privilege speech ko tungkol sa gobyerno na labanan 'yung droga, walang nangyayari. Pasok dito, labas dito," he added.
"Kaya itong nangyayaring ito ngayon, I am very interested with these statistics. You actually deserve congratulations," he went on.