Police raids in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, on Wednesday night left at least 28 people dead, local authorities said.
Spokesman for Manila police, Col. Erwin Margarejo, told reporters on Thursday that the operations were a “one-time, big-time” event.
The deaths of more than two dozen people took place after police killed 32 individuals on Monday night in Bulacan province.
In addition, more than 220 people were arrested during the three days of operations conducted under President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
On Wednesday, Mr. Duterte directed Philippine National Police to “shoot those who are part of [drug activity].” He also told the personnel to shoot members of human rights groups “if they are obstructing justice.”
Human Rights Watch said the president’s call was reprehensible.
When asked about the drug war escalation, a State Department official told The Globe Post that Washington had discussed concerns with the Philippine government on multiple occasions.
“We encourage our Philippines partners to conduct transparent investigations into reports of extrajudicial killings, and to ensure that all investigative and enforcement efforts uphold the rule of law,” the official said.
Since Mr. Duterte took office in June 2016, at least 7,000 people were killed in his war on drugs.