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War on drugs a success: Eleazar, Villanueva

July 12, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 397 views

eleazarPHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chair, Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva are highly convinced that the government’s war on drugs is a success based on the much improved peace and order situation in the streets and most importantly, the big number of barangays in the country which have been declared as ‘drug-cleared’ since July 2016.

“Our barometer as always will be the peace and order situation, the index crimes recorded during the first five years of the two previous administration compared to the index crimes recorded during the first five years of the Duterte administration,” Gen. Eleazar said.

The top cop said that the comparison will show that during the periods 2010 to 2015 and 2011 to 2016, it is a fact that cases of index crimes specifically robbery-holdup, theft, rape, physical injuries and homicide went down by more than 63 percent.

The PNP leadership has attributed the major reduction in index crimes to the campaign on drugs noting that before, majority of these crimes were committed by people who are high on drugs or are into illegal substance abuse.

“Even the President had said that talagang masalimuot ang giyera sa droga but one parameter of success we consider is our crime situation. Talagang napakalaki ng pagbaba ng street crimes sa buong bansa and our official records will prove that,” Gen. Eleazar said.

The PNP chief also said that their official crime situation data will clearly dispute the Global Finance’s ranking of The Philippines at the bottom of the list of the safest countries in the world.

“Hindi tumutugma ang ang aming crime statistics sa ranking na ito. Ang ating mga kasamahan sa media ang mismong makakapagpatunay nito dahil araw-araw kaming naglabas ng crime situation sa ating bansa noong nakaraang taon kung saan makikita ang napakalaking ibinababa ng mga krimen,” he said.

Gen. Eleazar said that since the start of the strict implementation of the community quarantine in March 2020, the Joint Task Force COVID Shield which he used to head when he was still the PNP Deputy Chief for Operations had been releasing crime statistics to show a significant decline in Eight Focus Crimes: murder, homicide, rape, physical injury, robbery, theft, carnapping of motor vehicles and motorcycle theft.

Gen. Eleazar said that the crime volume declined by half and theft and robbery recorded the most significant decline with more than 60 percent reduction since the start of the pandemic.

It turned out that the Global Finance’s ranking was based on the 2020 reports. Out of 134 countries, the Philippines ranked 134th in the list of international monthly magazine.

Three factors including war and peace, personal security, and natural disaster risk such as the risk factors from the COVID-19 were considered in making the list, the magazine reported.

However, Gen. Eleazar said that since natural disasters and personal security are among the factors cited by the magazine aside from peace and order the effects of the Taal Volcano eruption and other natural disasters that are beyond the control of the government as well as the attacks committed by local terror groups such as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, the Abu Sayyaf Group and the New People’s Army obviously played a big factor on this ranking.

This is the reason, why law enforcers have been aggressive in implementing the “whole-of-government” approach against local terror groups that are mostly based on non-military solutions, he explained.

“Ang peace and order ay isa lamang sa mga factors dahil kasama din sa mga naging basehan ay ang natural disasters at mismong epekto ng COVID-19 sa ating bansa,” Gen. Eleazar said.

“Nevertheless, we will take this latest ranking as a challenge to do more in terms of further improving the peace and order security in the country,” the PNP chief said.

HUGE NUMBER OF ‘DRUG-CLEARED BARANGAYS’ CITED

Eleazar and Villanueva also cited the very big number of barangays in the country which have been declared as ‘drug-cleared’ as a major factor in their assertion that the Duterte administration’s war on drugs is a success.

“Itong droga ay talagang me role sa pagbaba ng krimen. Hindi man natin nasolve totally ang problema, we may also look at the number of barangays cleared. Besides, hindi lang naman pulis ang involved sa pagsupil ng droga, kasama namin diyan ang mga Local Government Units, ang ibat-ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno, ang aming mga stakeholders, ang mamamayan,” the PNP chief said.

Director General Villanueva said that official RealNumbersPH Year 5 record will show that out of the 42,045 barangays in the country, a total of 22,093or 52.55 percent have been declared as ‘drug-cleared’ based on government parameters.

Another 13,210 or 31.42 percent of the total are yet to be ‘cleared’ to date although Villanueva expressed optimism they would be able to clear more by the end of the year.

“Isipin ninyo na na out of the more than 42,000 barangays in the country, some 13,000 na lang ang affected ng droga, meaning me mga presence ng pushers and users but we are optimistic that by the end of the year, baka mabawasan pa kaya nga nagdo-double time kami,” the PDEA chief said.

Villanueva stressed that there has been a major reduction in the number of crimes in the country due to the increasing number of barangays being declared as ‘drug-cleared’ based on parameters set by the Dangerous Drugs Board including the non-presence of drug laboratories, drug traffickers and dealers and users.

Malapit na tayo pero ang droga ay papasok pa din habang may natitirang persons na drug users sa barangays kaya we need the full support of the public and LGUS and other agencies in this campaign,” he added.

Gen. Eleazar also said that the campaign against illegal drug trafficking and abuse in the country has been there in the past.

“But sino ang nagsusulong nito. Maaaring ang mga dating Chief,PNPs o mga Regional Directors lang. Pero si Presidente Duterte, siya mismo ang nagsimula nito,” he said.

The PNP chief likewise said that although some members of the police force have committed irregularities in the performance of their duties in the past, they are being corrected automatically, with many dismissed from the police force, some already in jail while many have been suspended, demoted or given other punishments corresponding to their offense.

“Hindi tayo titigil in the remaining 1-year of the Duterte administration. Even the most advanced countries, hindi nila nasolve yan but you can’t deny the situation na mas safe ngayon tayo thanks to the war on drugs,” he said.

Since July 2016 to date, the government has reported the dismantling of 789 secret drug dens and 18 clandestine shabu laboratories and storage facilities; and the arrest of over 293,000 suspects including over 12,356 ‘high-value targets.’

Those anti-narcotics operations led in the seizure of more than P60 billion worth of shabu and other dangerous drugs and the death of 6,1147 armed suspects during gunbattles with undercover officers.

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