At least 82 drug pushers, including “Level 3” traffickers or foreign drug lords have been identified and are currently being pursued by the Manila Police District (MPD) as part of the city’s continuing campaign against illegal drugs, MPD chief Senior Supt. Joel Coronel said.
He told The Manila Times that he has given his men three months to neutralize the suspects, including Chinese drug lords.
He said Mayor Joseph Estrada vowed to provide Manila policemen the tools necessary for them to neutralize drug lords.
“Whatever you need – firearms, equipment, vehicles – whatever, I will provide you. I will give all the tools you need. Just go all out and rid the city of illegal drugs,” Coronel quoted Estrada as saying during a meeting on Friday.
Coronel told Estrada that there are 1,472 confirmed pushers and users in their watch list, and 82 of them are in the priority list.
“The only way to stop drug addiction is to stop the supply,” he said.
The new MPD chief said of the 82, three are “Level 3” traffickers – those who usually carry around one to two kilograms of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) and other types of drugs for distribution to Level 1 and 2 “retailers” or so-called street pushers.
“Levels 4 and 5, these are the importers, manufacturers, and smugglers, the main sources of drugs in the country,” he said.
The three Level 3 pushers in their watch list are a mix of Chinese and Filipinos.
Coronel said they have received no intelligence reports on the existence of drug dens or drug manufacturing facilities in Manila.
“Drug traffickers and manufacturers are evolving. They’re now transferring their main operations in the suburbs, in remote locations, in private subdivisions kasi mas madaling magtago doon. Sa Manila, wala [because it is easier to hide there. In Manila, that’s not the case],” he said.
Estrada launched his anti-drug crusade two years ago. Since then, he has been implementing the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program in public elementary and high schools in a bid to educate the youth on the ill-effects of illegal drugs.