THE Philippine National Police (PNP) headed by General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr. has affirmed its strong partnership with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) led by Director General Moro Virgilio M. Lazo as the country’s lead anti-narcotics unit marked its 21st founding anniversary last Monday with a major resolve to turn the Philippines into a ‘drug-free country.’
The PNP and the PDEA have closely partnered to arrest illegal drug activities in the country since the agency was created in 2002. Since then, both agencies have accounted for most of the illegal drugs seized under the previous Macapagal-Arroyo, Aquino and Duterte administrations.
Director General Lazo said that since the start of the Marcos administration on July 1, 2022 to last April 30 alone, government anti-narcotics agents have seized some P21.72 billion worth of shabu and other illegal substance.
The official said that during the period, the PDEA, the PNP and other law enforcement agencies in the country combined to account for 2.972 tons of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine,’ 13.53 kilograms of cocaine, 43,928 pieces of the designer drug called ‘Ecstasy’ and nearly 2.413 tons of dried marijuana leaves.
The PDEA chief said the period also saw the arrest of 3,169 ‘high-value targets as well as 44,866 other drug personalities as a result of 32,225 anti-drug operations.
The arrested suspects are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Director General Lazo said that 527 secret drug dens and one clandestine drug laboratory were also dismantled by government agents during the period as a result of the stepped-up war on illegal drugs ordered by President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ R. Marcos Jr.
He added that during the same period, 27,206 barangays in the country have already been declared as ‘drug-cleared’ while another 8,332 are still being subjected to drug-clearing operations after being tagged as ‘drug-affected.’
The PDEA marked its 21st founding anniversary on Monday with a major resolve to turn The Philippines into a ‘drug-free country’ with the theme “PDEA at 21: A Drug-Free Life for Every Juan.”
Gen. Acorda was the guest of honor and speaker during the PDEA anniversary wherein the top cop stressed the solid partnership between the police force and the PDEA in fighting illegal drug trafficking and abuse in the country and at the same time going after rogues in uniform.
The top cop stressed the solid partner ship between the police force and the PDEA in fighting illegal drug trafficking and abuse in the country and at the same time going after rogues in uniform.
The anniversary rites was held at the Agency’s iconic compound in NIA Northside Road – its home for the last two decades since Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 was signed into law creating the country’s lead drug law enforcement agency.
Since its creation in 2002 and in its formative years when the Agency was manned primarily by borrowed personnel from other agencies, the PDEA now boasts of 17 well-equipped Regional Offices all over the country, 20 batches of Drug Enforcement Officers who graduated from the PDEA Academy in Silang Cavite, Lawyers, Chemists and other Specialist Technical Personnel who continue to uphold the Agency’s core values of Professionalism, Dynamism, Excellence and Accountability.
Gen. Acorda has expressed confidence that the year-old Marcos administration is winning its war on drugs.
“At the rate PNP anti-illegal drug operations are getting underway, I can confidently say that the whole of government is winning the national campaign against illegal drugs,” the top cop said.
Gen. Acorda said that from January 1 to last May 19 alone, police hauled to jail a total of 23,395 drug personalities following the conduct of 17,668 anti-narcotics operations which led in the confiscation of an estimated P4.76 billion.
He added that since President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ R. Marcos Jr. took over the presidency on June 30, 2022, anti-narcotics officers have also dismantled one clandestine drug laboratory and smashed a total of 527 secret drug dives.
Last April, the PDEA led the destruction of 3.7 tons of the recovered drugs, the most number of dangerous drugs and Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals or CPECs worth around P20 billion.
The seized drug evidence were destroyed by thermal decomposition or thermolysis which involves breaking down chemical compounds using extreme heat at the Integrated Waste Management Inc. in Trece Martires City in Cavite.
The recovered drugs were destroyed in compliance with the guidelines on the disposition of seized narcotics under Republic Act 9165 or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 1, Series of 2002, which were all aimed at preventing the possibility of so-called ‘drug recycling.’
Gen. Acorda has ordered his men to go after top drug personalities across the country amid their intensified crackdown on illegal drug trafficking and abuse.
The PNP chief also said that police units nationwide continue to operations against big-time drug pushers and street-level drug personalities.
The PNP Drug Enforcement Group headed by Brig. Gen. Faro Antonio D. Olaguera and the Regional and Provincial Drug Enforcement Units of the 17 Police Regional Offices and their respective Provincial, City and Municipal DEUs are tasked to go after known big-time drug traffickers and other ‘high-value targets’ in the country.
Gen. Acorda has vowed to sustain the PNP’s massive anti-illegal drugs campaign and internal cleansing program as he cited the force’s success in accounting for nearly P6 billion worth of shabu and other prohibited substances since the year started.
During the period, the PNP has conducted over 16,000 anti-illegal drug operations which led to the arrest of more than 21,000 drug offenders, many of them engaged in drug trafficking activities, he said.
He added that those operations resulted in the confiscation of illegal drugs valued at over P5.8 billion.
Gen. Acorda said those are big accomplishments in their campaign against illegal drugs.
“We will continue to be aggressive in all our operations against big- time drug personalities or High-value Individuals (HVIs),” he emphasized.
“All this shows the PNP’s strong commitment to slow down if not put an end to the illegal drug trade. Under my leadership, I will assure the public that the PNP will remain steadfast in its commitment to protect the Filipino people and rid the country of the drug menace. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our communities are safe and secure,” Gen. Acorda added.
The PNP chief maintained that their efforts have been highly effective in ensuring that those involved in illegal drugs are brought to justice. The top cop also underscored the need to address the root causes of illegal drug use in the country thru an honest-to-goodness demand reduction and rehabilitation.
He said they are also fully supporting President Marcoses’ commitment to continue the crackdown on illegal drugs but within the framework of the law and with respect for human rights.
The Commander-in-Chief has also maintained the need to focus on the aspect of rehabilitation and socio-economic development of drug patients.