A TOTAL of 4,999 armed drug dealers have been killed in gunbattles with government law enforcement agents from July 1, 2016 up to last October 31 as officials maintained the suspects were slain after opting to shoot it out with officers to escape arrest.
Another 161,584 known drug personalities were arrested as a result of 113,570 anti-narcotics operations which include the conduct of buy-bust operations, service of search warrants and other interdiction operations during the period in review.
The figures were released during a RealNumbers PH Year 2 forum at Camp Crame presided over by Assistant Secretary Marie B. Rafael of the Presidential Communications Office, Philippine National Police spokesman Chief Superintendent Benigno B. Durana Jr. and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency spokesperson Director Derrick Arnold C. Carreon.
During the period, the Duterte government also dismantled 258 drug dens and 13 shabu laboratories; declared as “drug-cleared” 8,935 out of the country’s total 42,044 barangays; and arrested 600 government workers involved in illegal drug trafficking and abuse broken down into 278 government employees, 257 elected officials and 65 uniformed personnel.
The period also saw the dismissal from the government service of 287 law enforcement agents for drug use and 130 others for other drug-related offenses.
It also saw the confiscation of P25.06 billion worth of dangerous drugs including P18.31 billion worth of shabu; the rescue of 1,820 children involved in illegal drug activities; and the surrender of 292,108 drug users with 142,280 of them patients undergoing PNP-initiated drug treatment programs.
Durana emphasized that the 4,999 slain suspects were killed by policemen and other law enforcement agents who were forced to defend themselves armed suspects.
He also said that over 2,000 so-called deaths under investigation have turned out to be drug-related killings involving suspected drug personalities who were killed by their fellow drug dealers due to various motives including double-cross or suspicion they were working as government informants.
The PNP spokesman also said that around 1,800 police personnel are under surveillance for various illegal activities but not necessarily due to drugs. He said that the PNP under Director General Oscar D. Albayalde has a “no-compromise” policy when it comes to drugs.
Durana said that this year alone, agents of the PNP Counter-Intelligence Task Force headed by Senior Supt. Romeo M. Caramat Jr. has already shot dead 9 active policemen during buy-bust operations.
“There is no place for scalawags especially those involved in illegal drugs in our organization,” he said.
For his part, Carreon expressed confidence that at the rate they are “clearing” barangays, they would be able to declare as “drug-cleared” the remaining 23,161 others that are yet to be freed from drug-influence.
“Kaya naman po provided that all our stakeholders will help us in preventing the resurgence of drugs in all concerned areas,” he said.
SHABU PRICE DOWN
Carreon said that the gains made by the PDEA, the PNP and other law enforcement agencies during the past few months have also resulted in the reduction of the price of shabu in the country, or from P5,000 to P6,000 before especially in Metro Manila to P1,500 a gram today.
“Pero ang droga po ay hindi namimili ng okasyon, hindi tulad ng certain crimes which rise in certain parts of the year,” he said.
Carreon said that their campaign against rogue local government officials is also unrelenting. He said that so far, PDEA agents have already arrested 1 city councilor, 2 vice mayors, 1 provincial board member, 163 barangay ‘kagawad’ or councilmen,’ 81 barangay captains, 2 members of the Sangguniang Kabataan and 4 municipal councilors. All are now facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Asec. Banaag-Ra-fael said that the situation in drug-cleared barangays is also being monitored monthly as well as the situation of drug dependents undergoing treatment in government-run rehabilitation centers.