P75-B illegal drugs seized since July 2016: PDEA

(Infographic courtesy of PDEA)

MANILA – Authorities have seized a total of PHP75 billion worth of narcotics across the country since the start of the Duterte administration's crackdown on illegal drugs in mid-2016.

In its latest Real Numbers data as of January 31 and released on Wednesday night, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said the amount includes PHP63.22 billion worth of shabu.

Authorities have seized 8,170.51 kilograms (kg.) of shabu, 4,205.76 kgs of marijuana, 22.56 kg. of ecstasy, 534.20 kg. of cocaine, and 3,483.04 kg. of other dangerous drugs while dismantling a total of 1,008 drug dens and 18 clandestine shabu laboratories from July 2016 to January 2022.

A total of 14,389 high-value targets across the country were arrested since the anti-illegal drugs campaign was launched on July 1, 2016.

The figure includes 6,319 HVTs arrested from high impact operations, 3,989 target-listed suspects, 1,498 drug den maintainers, 797 drug group leaders/members, 522 government employees, 396 elected officials, 352 foreigners, 291 included on wanted lists, 126 uniformed personnel, 75 armed group members and 24 prominent personalities.

Authorities also arrested 327,039 individuals involved in illegal drugs during the period.

As of January this year, the consolidated report showed 6,229 drug suspects have died during 226,662 anti-illegal drug operations.

From July 2016 to January 2022, authorities also arrested 4,170 minors. This can be broken down into 2,487 pushers; 979 possessors; 441 users; 232 visitors of drug den; nine drug den maintainers; 17 drug den employees, two cultivators, one clan lab employee, and two runners.

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the rescued minors, after court proceedings, will be turned over to the Bahay Pag-asa centers of LGUs within eight hours of police custody, before turning them over to the DSWD.

Since they are minors, the DSWD said they would not be put behind bars together with hardened criminals.

At least 24,303 out of the 42,045 barangays (villages) have been declared drug-cleared as of January 2022 while 6,613 barangays were drug unaffected/drug-free barangays and 11,129 have yet to be cleared of illegal drugs.

These barangays have reached drug-cleared status after the issuance of a certification by members of the oversight committee on barangay drug-Clearing program.

The agency assured that the health and safety of its agents are prioritized in anti-drug operations.

Earlier, PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva said the 'Barangay PDEA' program aims to promote a "balanced and humane" anti-drug campaign as it provides the public a more comprehensive platform of information on the harm reduction initiatives of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP) like the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program and Balay Silangan, both drug intervention programs for surrendering drug users and pushers to help them reintegrate in the society and become productive citizens.

Villanueva also vowed to go after village chiefs who fail to establish their own barangay drug abuse councils (BADACs).

Villanueva said PDEA, as the lead agency against illegal drugs, has adopted a three-pronged strategy in the national anti-drug campaign which focuses on reducing its supply, demand, and harmful effects.

The agency has created a barangay drug clearing program working group for monitoring and validation to fast-track drug-clearing operations in the communities and prevent the proliferation of illegal drugs in the barangays. (PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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