PDEA seizes P53.83-M drugs in 1st month of leading anti-drug war

MANILA --The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has posted significant accomplishments in its anti-narcotics operations, one month after President Rodrigo Duterte declared it as the lead law enforcement unit to wage war against illegal drugs.

PDEA conducted a total of 1,341 anti-drug operations from October 10 to November 10 this year, resulting in the arrest of 404 drug personalities and the seizure of dangerous drugs worth PHP53.83 million.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino attributed the achievement to the shift of the agency's operational thrusts to reduce the number of high-value targets through the conduct of high-impact and quality counter-drug operations.

This is 80.5 percent more than the operations conducted in the previous month. As a result, a 14.4 percent increase in the number of arrested drug personalities was recorded, Aquino said.

The total value of dangerous drugs and controlled precursors and essential chemicals (CPECs) seized during the period posted a 233.3 percent increase compared to the preceding month.

Out of the seized drug evidence, 6.16 kilograms are methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, with an estimated street value of P30.8 million, as compared to the shabu seizure of 1.87 kilograms worth P9,350,000, confiscated last month, an increase of 229.4 percent, Aquino added.

The consolidated figures were the result of the arrest of high-value targets and high-volume seizures during the following operations:

The buy-bust operation conducted by agents of PDEA ROIV-A in Taguig City on October 25, 2017 that led to the arrest of Dhan Usman y Saban, a big-time pusher, and the confiscation of P1 million worth of shabu;

The arrest of an actor and two others in a buy-bust operation conducted by agents of PDEA ROIV-A in ParaAaque City on October 27, 2017;

The separate raids conducted by PDEA-SES in Tivoli Garden Residences in Mandaluyong City and I-Suites Hotel, Cubao which resulted in the arrest of seven drug personalities and the seizure of shabu, ecstasy, cocaine and marijuana on November 2, 2017;

The entrapment operation conducted by PDEA ROV on November 4, 2017, resulting in the arrest of four suspects and the seizure of P6 million worth of shabu in Naga City;

The arrest of Yuk Lai Yu, a detained drug queen and her daughter-cohort during greyhound operations in the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW), Mandaluyong City and a lawful search in San Miguel, Manila on November 6, 2017; and

The arrest of two Nigerian nationals during a buy-bust operation conducted by joint operatives of PDEA ROIV-A and PDEA ROV in Kawit, Cavite on November 8, 2017 which resulted in the seizure of P6 million worth of shabu.

Failure is never an option when we took upon the sole authority in bringing order to country's anti-drug campaign. We may be undermanned, underequipped and underfunded, but we continually strive to achieve more than what is expected, Aquino said.

Aquino said PDEA is cognizant of the challenges posed by the enormity of the country's drug problem in the Implementation of Republic Act 9165 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Act of 2002.

Though undermanned, underequipped and inadequately funded, PDEA will deliver tangible results, even more than is expected of us, he added.

The PDEA chief assured the public of a 'less bloody' anti-drug war and the adherence to the rule of law in performing its mandate.

From body-worn cameras to accompanying media presence, these would ensure a culture of transparency in our day-to-day operations in the streets, he said.

Aquino cited the agency's great strides in being the main unit tasked to lead the country's anti-illegal drug campaign.

Aquino also directed his regional offices to meet their monthly quota of "30 to 40" anti-drug operations, as they have no choice but to level up and deliver.

It only shows we are serious (and) more operations to come before the end of this year, Aquino said.

With only 1,038 agents, Aquino said that his agency would be in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and local government units (LGUs) in the conduct of drug-clearing operations in barangays.

The obvious lack of personnel is indeed a point of concern since our presence is only on the regional level and with some skeletal provincial offices. But we will closely link up with the barangays for the continuation of the barangay drug-clearing program, he said.

Source: Philippine News Agency