IT seems that when no one is looking, some foreign nationals in the country go into large-scale importation, manufacture and distribution of shabu and other dangerous drugs.
In fact, various quarters, including government drug busters, said that foreigners are greatly involved in the spread of illegal drugs in this graft-prone Southeast Asian country.
Last year, law enforcement authorities arrested 112 foreign nationals for alleged violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Records showed that the suspects included 44 Chinese, 29 Taiwanese, 7 Hong Kong nationals and 7 Koreans. The rest were other Asians, Americans, Europeans and Africans.
Of the 112, 79 were nabbed six months into the Duterte administration’s all-out war against illegal drugs, said PDEA chief Director-General Isidro S. Lapeña, a native of Urdaneta City in Pangasinan.
Thirty-three were nabbed during the first semester of 2016, when Benigno S. Aquino III was still president.
From July to December 2016, PDEA, the law enforcement arm of the Dangerous Drugs Board, in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies, conducted a total of 19,712 anti-drug operations.
As a result, 18,173 drug personalities were arrested. Of the number, 1,020 were high-value targets, according to Lapeña, a member of Class 1973 of the elite Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
A decorated military and police official, the hard-hitting and highly-effective Lapeña is in a position to go after foreign and local drug manufacturers, smugglers and dealers.
Certainly, with Lapeña and other drug busters around, the government is determined to slay the dreaded drug monster even before the end of the Duterte government in 2022.