PDEA claims success in drug war

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The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) considers the government’s war against illegal drugs a “success” during President Rodrigo Duterte’s first year in office.

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In a news briefing in Davao City on Friday, PDEA chief Isidro Lapeña said the Duterte administration has done so much in a year’s time compared with the previous administration.

He said since Duterte came to power, 64,397 anti-drug operations had been conducted, which was 77 percent higher compared with the 36,466 operations of the previous administration.

To date, Lapeña said 1,308,078 drug suspects had surrendered while 86,984 drug personalities were arrested, a 364-percent increase compared with those arrested in the previous administration’s 18,766.

He further said that nine clandestine laboratories were destroyed, 152 drug dens dismantled, and 2,446
kilograms of shabu seized. The value of the shabu seized amounted to P12.62 billion, while drugs seized amounted to P82.52 billion.

According to Lapeña, the PDEA has also cleared 3,677 drug-affected villages since Duterte took office.

“This was done while we have concentrated or intensified the law enforcement function on illegal drugs. We have shifted also to the demand reduction,” he said.

Lapeña said barangay officials have been warned of possible liability for neglect or dereliction of duty if they would not help in the government’s anti-drugs campaign.

“There is no middle ground. If you are a barangay (village) official you are supposed to know what is happening in your  barangay,” he said.

Lapeña said the success of the government’s drug war contributed to the satisfaction and trust ratings of the President, which have remained high since he assumed office.

“I would say that we are successful.  Going to the assessment of all these surveys… The campaign against illegal drugs was rated excellent,” Lapeña said.

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