The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) recently reported major accomplishments in its anti-illegal drug operations with the confiscation of P3.85 billion worth of narcotics and paraphernalia as well as the arrest of 9,383 drug personalities including those identified as high value targets (HVT).
With the large number of arrests, PDEA Director General Isidro Lapeña said the agency’s lawyers were busy prosecuting around 10,400 drug-related cases filed in court over the course of its operations last year.
He said PDEA saw an increased number of arrests to 10,628 from the period June 30 to November 10, 2016 despite a slight slow down in its anti-drug operations.
Based on PDEA’s latest figures, the agency has launched 23,495 anti-drug operations from January to November 10, 2016, arrested 20,011 drug personalities, and confiscated P12.15 billion worth of illegal drugs.
From January to November 10, 2016, Lapeña said the agency arrested 1,535 HVTs in 236 high impact operations (HIO).
Among the HVTs arrested were 71 foreign drug dealers, 66 elected officials, 34 law enforcers, 75 government employees, and 83 drug syndicate members.
Increased volume seized
In the context of the administration’s massive campaign against illegal drugs, the volume of illegal drugs confiscated by the PDEA dramatically increased.
As of November 10 last year, the PDEA reported seizing 1,520.64 kilograms of shabu, a sharp increase from the 63 kilograms (kg) of shabu confiscated in 2010, 254 kg in 2011, 112 kg in 2012, 837 kg in 2013, 718 kg in 2014, and 595 kg in 2015.
Aside from the confiscations, the increased number of drug users surrendering to authorities also translate to a large reduction in consumption of illegal drugs.
From July 1 to November 10, 2016, the PDEA reported 769,892 voluntary surrenders of drug users, representing 21 percent of the estimated 3.7 million users in the country.
The agency posited that should all the surrenderers resolved to stop using illegal drugs, the number would translate to a huge drop in shabu demand pegged at 1,188 kg, further translating to P5.94 billion in losses for drug traffickers.
The PDEA also noted that its officials have regularly hosted courtesy calls of the agency’s foreign counterparts with memorandum of understanding (MOU) being signed to boost cross-border anti-illegal drugs operations.
Lapeña reported that the agency signed MOUs with Indonesia, New Zealand, Russia and the United States while proposals for such agreement have already been arranged with Brunei, Chile, India, Iran, Mexico and Thailand. JING VILLAMENTE