THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Cordillera (PDEA) said it has arrested the most number of government officials into drugs in the Ilocos Region.
It added, however, that it foresees the whole of Ilocandia to be drug-free soon.
With six government officials and 13 elected local officials nabbed for drugs, the biggest catch all over the country, PDEA-Region 1 bested all other regional offices of the anti-narcotics agency.
It cited an increase in the anti-illegal drug campaign in the past year–a total of 226 successful anti-narcotics operations in Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte where 271 drug dependents and drug pushers were caught.
Anti-narcotics agents either jailed or killed 27 members of notorious drug groups, six wanted listed criminals and two foreigners.
PDEA-Region 1 Director Jeofrrey Tacio believes the New Year would bring more opportunities of cleansing the lowland region against the scourge of narcotics.
The anti-narcotics drive all over the region has hauled shabu estimated to value P31 million.
The marijuana trade suffered a great blow as 386.9 kilos were either burned or confiscated amounting to P19,342,465.
This was exclusive of 389,530 plants and seedlings that were destroyed in the borders of Ilocos Sur, La Union and Benguet together with 264 grams of marijuana seeds.
Bismark Bengwayan, spokesman for PDEA-Region 1, said their office not only surpassed its operational targets for 2016 but was also in the forefront of an information drive having visited schools, private establishments and barangay (villages) to lecture and discuss the evils of illegal drugs.
In the information campaign of the agency, a total of 362 lectures were conducted targeting 12,136 participants.
“Our motives are not only jailing the criminals but also to help mold people and their communities, that is why we reach out as much as we can to the people around us,” PDEA-Region 1 Director Jeofrrey Tacio said.