MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte‘s administration has been able to clear more than half of 34,032 drug-affected villages in the country, as it continues to step up its fight against narcotics trade.
Around 18,284 out of 42,045 villages nationwide have already been declared drug-free from July 1, 2016 to January 31, 2020, according to the latest and official data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency released on Monday.
Only 15,748 villages have yet to be cleared of illegal drugs — these barangays are either slightly, moderately or seriously affected. Over 8,000 out of the 42,055 villages are considered “unaffected”.
A total of 508,364 drug suspects have so far turned themselves in to authorities and availed of the government’s recovery and reformation programs.
The conduct of about 157,275 anti-drug operations has led to the arrest of 228,678 drug offenders and the death of 5,601 others, as of January 31.
Data showed some 8,811 high-value drug targets have been arrested by authorities.
Three hundred and six of these 8,811 high-value drug personalities are elected public officials, 85 are uniformed personnel, and 350 are government employees.
Around 10 prominent personalities, 726 leaders and members of drug syndicates, 856 drug den maintainers, 61 armed group members, and 225 foreign nationals are likewise considered high-value targets.
Also deemed high-value drug personalities are the 3,349 individuals arrested from “high impact operations” and the 2,259 others included in the “target list.”
The government has likewise been able to rescue around 2,915 children aged four to 17 who have links to illegal drugs.
It has also dismantled some 508 drug dens and 114 clandestine laboratories in the country.
More than 5,000 kilos of shabu worth PHP32.92 billion have so far been seized by authorities.
Duterte has repeatedly vowed to go after drug personalities in his remaining years in office.
In a February 26 speech delivered at Malacañan Palace, Duterte said his war on illegal drugs remains relentless.
“Sa mga durugista, sinabi ko talaga (I’m telling you) — and I admit without any excuses — I said, ‘Huwag mong sirain ang bayan ko. P***** i** mo, papatayin kita (Do not ruin my country. I will kill you, son of a b****),” he said. (iam/sovereignph.com/PNA)