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PNP, PDEA haul P23.2B shabu, other banned substances

August 30, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 259 views

PNPTHE Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and other law enforcement units have accounted for an estimated P23.23 billion shabu and other prohibited substances since the start of the Marcos Jr. administration on July 1, 2022 to July 31, 2023, the Journal Group learned yesterday.

This as the PNP, headed by General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr., maintained it is winning the war against illegal drug trafficking and abuse.

Acorda has cited the major gains that the police force, the PDEA, chaired by Director General Moro Virgilio M. Lazo and other Law Enforcement Agencies nationwide have made in fighting the illegal drug trade over the past 12 months.

The accomplishments were made as Acorda and Lazo expressed their major resolve to turn the Philippines into a ‘drug-free country’ by going all-out against illegal drug trafficking and abuse.

PDEA records showed that from July 1, 2022 to July 31 this year, a total of 27,553 barangays have already been declared as ‘drug-cleared’ while another 7,976 are still being subjected to drug-clearing operations after being tagged as ‘drug-affected.’

Acorda said he is on a mission to ‘save drug users and go after big-time narcotics distributors.

However, the PNP chief said they need the help from local government units, the different national government agencies and the community in their effort to maintain a ‘drug-free community.’

The PNP and the PDEA have closely coordinated to mitigate illegal drug activities since the latter agency was created in 2002.

Lazo said that over the past 12 months, government anti-narcotics agents have seized some P23.23 billion worth of shabu, cocaine, Ecstasy, marijuana and other controlled precursors and essential chemicals and laboratory equipment.

During the period, the PDEA, the PNP and other law enforcement agencies seized over 3.135 tons of shabu, 19.51 kilograms of cocaine, 43,940 pieces of ‘Ecstasy’ and over 2.7 tons of dried marijuana leaves.

The PDEA chief said 3,790 ‘high-value targets as well as 57,474 other drug personalities have been arrested as a result of 41,587 anti-drug operations all over the country.

Lazo said government agents dismantled 622 secret drug dens and one clandestine drug laboratory during the period as a result of the stepped-up war on illegal drugs ordered by President Bongbong Marcos.

According to PNP Public Information Office chief Brigadier Gen. Redrico A. Maranan, the supply reduction strategy in the national anti-illegal drugs campaign has succeeded in breaking the backbone of the drug distribution network in the country.

“From all indications, in terms of operational accomplishments in reducing the drug supply and cutting off the drug trafficking network, we can confidently declare that the PNP is winning the war against illegal drugs,” the official said.

Maranan explained the demand reduction side of the anti-drug campaign is one aspect that we need to work on double time.

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 operations against big-time drug pushers.

The PNP Drug Enforcement Group, now headed by Colonel Dionisio B. Bartolome Jr., 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.

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.

“We will continue to be aggressive in all our operations against big-time drug personalities or High-Value Individuals (HVIs),” he emphasized.

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 through an honest-to-goodness demand reduction and rehabilitation.