Sun. Aug 1st, 2021

Almost half of over 1.2 million drug surrenderers, or about 600,000, have gone back to their normal lives after undergoing rehabilitation, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Wednesday.

(Photo Courtesy: The Filipino Times)

“We saw the biggest voluntary surrender of 1,222,363 drug users and personalities which is a feat that has never been seen in the country’s history. These drug surrenderers have undergone the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) recovery wellness program where 48 percent are now living a normal life far from the perils brought by illegal drugs,” he said.

“The past six years were quick but monumental for the DILG especially in its pursuit towards a safer, more peaceful, and more progressive Philippines,’’ Año added during the pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Forum of the Security, Peace, and Justice Cluster.

Año cited the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for their “incessant toil and groundwork’’ which resulted in the declaration of 21,891 out of over 42,000 barangays in the country as drug cleared.

He noted that during the five-year relentless anti-drug campaign, authorities seized P59.14 billion worth of illegal drugs from drug syndicates and arrested 289,622 drug personalities, which include 12,069 high-value targets.

Año reported that 784 drug dens and clandestine laboratories were also dismantled during anti-drug operations.

Año said this proves that the government is committed to both curbing the supply of illegal drugs through law enforcement operations and demand through reformation programs.

Año also highlighted the Duterte administration’s efficient fight against corruption and all forms of criminality that dramatically improved the country’s peace and order situation.

He cited the consistent downtrend in the number of index crimes like murder, homicide, rape and robbery among others, with theft registering an almost 50 percent decrease in 2020.

“The continuous augmentation of police forces in communities and procurement of equipment likewise contributed to the dwindling crime rate and in realizing the ideal ratio of one police officer for 500 citizens,’’ it added.

He added that since 2017, 17,142 rogue cops were subjected to disciplinary actions and sanctions. The figure includes 906 police officers who were dismissed from the service.

He attributed the government’s anti-criminality success to the concerted efforts of the governors, mayors, barangay captains and other local officials who exhibited full cooperation and support to the enhanced institutions such as the anti-drug abuse councils and peace and orders councils.

Citing the 2020 Gallup Global Law and Order Report, Año revealed that eight out of 10 Filipinos now believe that they are safe and secured with the dramatic decrease of crime volume in the country.He added that the Philippines is among the top 50 countries with efficient peace and order campaign schemes, along with Australia, New Zealand, Poland, and Serbia.

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