THE Duterte government’s all-out war on drugs which began in July 2016 has already resulted in the seizure of 56.26 billion worth of prohibited drugs, more than 90 percent of them shabu or the so-called poor man’s cocaine which remains the number one abused drug in the country, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chair Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva announced yesterday.
Citing the latest statistics from #RealNumbersPh, the PDEA chief said that from July 1, 2016 to October 31 this year, law enforcement agents led by the PDEA and the Philippine National Police have seized P56.26 billion worth of shabu, its chemical precursors and essential chemicals, laboratory equipment and other drugs like cocaine, the designer drug called ‘Ecstasy’ and marijuana.
Villanueva said that the period also saw the dismantling of 631 drug dens and 17 clandestine shabu laboratories.
The official said that a total of 5,942 armed drug offenders were killed in gunbattles with undercover officers during the period which also saw the arrest of 266,126 suspects for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 following the conduct of 183,525 anti-narcotics operations.
The PDEA remains the lead agency in the enforcement of the country’s anti-drug law. It is getting major help from the PNP headed by General Debold M. Sinas who has ordered an intensified crackdown against illegal drug trafficking and abuse, even authorizing all PNP National Operational Support Units to conduct their own campaign against big-time drug traffickers or those selling a kilo of shabu or more in coordination with the PNP Drug Enforcement Group headed by Brigadier Gen. Ronald O. Lee and the PDEA.
Gen. Sinas has also ordered all 17 Police Regional Offices to double if not triple the number of their trained drug enforcement personnel to help carry out their war on drugs.
Villanueva said that of the over 266,000 suspects arrested, a total of 10,721 are considered “high-value targets.” They include 287 foreign nationals, 32 elected public officials; 102 uniformed personnel; 445 government employees; 3,098 in the government’s watch list; 751 drug group leaders/members; 66 armed drug group members; 1,035 drug den maintainers; 232 wanted-listed; 18 celebrities or holders of Professional Regulation Commission cards; and 4,325 others who were arrested as a result of high-impact operations.
The PDEA chief said that during the period, government law enforcement agents also rescued a total of 3,418 children involved in illegal drug activities, 901 of them for possession of dangerous drugs; 1,935 for drug pushing; 2 for marijuana cultivation; 165 for visiting raided drug dens; 9 for acting as drug dive maintainers; 11 for acting as drug den employees; 1 for acting as a clandestine lab employee; and 393 for illegal drug use.
Villanueva said that out of the country’s 42,045 barangays, a total of 20,538 have been declared as “drug-cleared” during the past 4 years and 3 months of the Duterte administration while 14,308 are yet to be cleared.