Close to 8,000 Philippine police officers have recieved administrative punishments, of whom 2,000 were dismissed, for wrongdoings during raids where drug suspects were killed. (Photo: AP)

Hanoi (VNA) – Close to 8,000 Philippine police officers have received administrative punishments, of whom 2,000 were dismissed, for wrongdoings during raids where drug suspects were killed under President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown, a Philippine official said on July 18.

As many as 14,724 policemen were investigated for their involvement in police drug operation that led to deaths of thousands of drug suspects from July 2016 to last April, Communication Asistant Secretary Marie Rafael Banaag told a news conference.

Some 7,867 of them received administrative punishments, she said but did not specify what they have done.

A tally presented by Banaag showed that 2,367 police officer have been sacked, 4,100 suspended while the rest were reprimanded, demoted, had their salaries forfeited or deprived of certain privileges.

She did not reveal how many officers have been criminally charged for serious lapses or outright crimes committed while enforcing the crackdown.

According to Philippine police, about 6,600 drug suspects have been killed in raids carried out by the police mostly in gunbattles that ensued after the suspects fought back and endangered the lives of law enforcers. However, Banaag and other officials reported a lower death toll, more than 5,500, saying authorities were still verifying other drug-related deaths.

The anti-drug crackdown was launched by President Duterte as his centerpiece programme when he took office in mid-2016. It was the first time authorities disclosed the full extent of police who have been disciplined for lapses in the crackdown.–VNA