Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency bares latest drug war body count

A TOTAL of 5,281 armed drug suspects have been killed in gunbattles with undercover officers from July 1, 2016 up to last February 28 alone, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency reported yesterday as it bared the latest government statistics on its war on drugs.

PDEA spokesman Director Derrick Arnold C. Carreon said that during the period, 176,021 drug suspects were arrested as a result of 123,441 anti-narcotics operations conducted by the PDEA, the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies across the country.

He said that of the over 176,000 arrested drug offenders, 638 were government workers including 264 elected officials, 74 uniformed personnel, most of them police officers and men and 300 government employees.

Carreon said that the same period also saw the seizure of 3,735.27 kilograms of shabu worth P21.41 billion; and the dismantling of 309 drug dens and shabu laboratories and storage facilities.

He also said that a total of 11,437 barangays were already declared as “drug-cleared” by the PDEA although 21,755 other barangays are yet to be cleared by the PDEA, the PNP and local government units. Carreon said that as a result of the all-out campaign against illegal drug trafficking and abuse, government agents have also rescued a total of 2,098 children aged four to 17 years old during the conduct of anti-drug raids and other operations.

The PDEA chaired by Director General Aaron N. Aquino also gave its reaction to the perception that the country’s drug problem is worsening. “With the recent billions of peso worth of illegal drug seized by PDEA and other law enforcement agencies, the President’s and even the ordinary people’s impression that the illegal drug operations are worsening is normal,” Aquino said.

“However, from the point of view of PDEA, the billions of peso seizures of illegal drugs is a positive indicator that the government is very effective in carrying out its war against illegal drugs.

“Ang mga sindikato ay hindi na nakakalusot sa mga awtoridad. Dati nakakalusot ang droga sa Bureau of Customs, ngayon maganda at mabilis na ang ating collaboration with Bureau of Customs at sa iba pang law enforcers. Mabilis ang coordination at intel sharing natin sa ating mga international counterparts. What is important is that authorities are able to prevent these illegal drugs from flooding our streets,” the official said.