MANILA – Close to 9,000 drug high-value targets (HVTs) across the country have been arrested since the start of the Duterte administration’s crackdown on illegal drugs in mid-2016, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said on Wednesday.
Based on Real Numbers data, PDEA spokesperson Derrick Carreon said a total of 8,811 HVTs were arrested from July 1, 2016 to Jan. 31, 2020.
The figure included 3,439 HVTs arrested from high impact operations, 2,559 target-listed suspects, 726 drug group leaders/members, 350 government employees, 306 elected officials, 225 foreigners, 193 included on wanted lists, 86 uniformed personnel, 61 armed group members and 10 prominent personalities.
Authorities also arrested 228,678 individuals involved in illegal drugs during the said period.
As of January, the consolidated report showed that 5,601 drug suspects have died during 157,275 anti-illegal drug operations.
From July 2016 to January 2020, authorities also arrested 2,915 minors. This can be broken down into 1,619 pushers; 768 possessors; 364 users; 144 visitors of drug den; seven drug den maintainers; 10 drug den employees, two cultivators, and a runner.
A total of 508,364 drug surrenderers attended and completed recovery programs.
Authorities dismantled a total of 508 drug dens and 14 are clandestine shabu laboratories from July 2016 to January 2020.
Various types of illegal drugs worth PHP42.13 billion were seized and this amount includes PHP32.92 billion worth of shabu.
At least 15,748 out of the 42,044 barangays (villages) have been declared drug-cleared as of January 31, 2020.
Carreon said aligned with President’s vision of a drug-cleared country by 2022, PDEA intensified the implementation of the Barangay Drug Clearing Campaign.
“We are freeing every barangay from illegal drugs. We are turning citizens to become resistant to drug abuse. We are transforming the negative impacts into positive opportunities for drug offenders. We are winning the drug war,” Carreon said in his presentation during the launch of the Duterte Legacy campaign at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City last January.
He added that PDEA, as the lead agency against illegal drugs, adopted a three-pronged strategy in the national anti-drug campaign which focuses on reducing its supply, demand, and harmful effects. (IA/PNA)