“[Foreigners] were found to be greatly involved in the spread of illegal drugs in the country. In 2016, a total of 112 [foreigners]were arrested for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.”
This was the assessment made by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Isidro Lapeña on Tuesday, saying the agency has continued to tighten its monitoring of foreigners involved in illegal -rug activities.
Foreigners “arrested for drug-related offenses nationwide more than doubled to 79 six months into the government’s war against drugs. During the first semester of 2016, 33 foreigners were already nabbed,” Lapeña added.
Of the apprehended foreigners, Chinese still dominated the list with 44, followed by Taiwanese at 29, 7 Hong Kongers and 7 South Koreans.
The rest are other Asians, Americans, Europeans and Africans.
From 2010 to 2016, a total of 473 foreigners were arrested for violation of the anti-drug law: 112 in 2016, 38 in 2015, 67 in 2014, 77 in 2013, 65 in 2012, 45 in 2011 and 69 in 2010.
“Out of the foreigners arrested in the last seven years, 227 or 48 percent were Chinese. They were either pushers, possessors, couriers, manufacturers [or]financiers,” Lapeña said.
To address the influx of Chinese involved in the Philippine drug trade, PDEA and the Narcotics Control Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China signed a “Protocol On Cooperation” on October 20, 2016 in Beijing to effectively suppress and control drug crimes between the two nations.
The protocol will be effective for five years.
“The PDEA has stepped up its campaign to pursue foreigners responsible for the proliferation of dangerous drugs in the country. This led to their eventual arrest through high-impact operations, including the dismantling of clandestine laboratories used in the manufacture of shabu, chemical warehouses, prevention of drug trafficking in airports and seaports and high-volume seizures through buy-busts,” Lapena said.