PNP, PDEA destroy P1.7 billion worth of illegal drugs
As the anti-narcotics operations take center stage in the first two weeks of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration, the Philippine National Police is relentless in its war against drugs.
In Cavite, authorities destroy P1.7 billion worth of illegal drugs.
Bea Cupin reports. – Rappler.com
The Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies show no signs of stopping in their mission to stop – or at least suppress – corruption, crime, and the spread of illegal drugs.
Anti-narcotics operations take center stage in the first two weeks of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration. The PNP is relentless in its war against drugs.
In Cavite, PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Isidro Lapeña lead the destruction of over P1.7 billion in illegal drugs.
DIRECTOR GENERAL RONALD DELA ROSA, PNP CHIEF: I will assure our countrymen that I will continue to operate relentlessly without fear or favor and with due respect to human rights.
This batch – the first destroyed under the new administration – includes over P1 billion worth of shabu seized by the PNP just last week.
Just a few weeks into Duterte's term, thousands surrender before authorities while hundreds – estimates peg it at more than 300 – of suspected drug users and pushers are killed all throughout the country.
The so-called big guns of the drug industry are also being pursued. Duterte named 5 police generals with supposed links to the illegal drug trade and is set to reveal another list of mayors with the same illicit dealings.
The numbers are impressive, at least compared to the previous months. But it is not without its criticisms. Legislators, including former justice secretary Senator Leila de Lima, want to hold congressional probes into alleged summary executions in police operations.
Vice President Leni Robredo is among the more prominent voices who've expressed worry about the growing culture of vigilantism in the country.
But Dela Rosa washes the PNP's hands clean of these extrajudicial killings. Instead, he points to drug syndicates themselves.
DIRECTOR GENERAL RONALD DELA ROSA, PNP CHIEF: If our police committed abuses and wrongdoings, we will not cover them up. Even if we're very aggressive, in our anti-illegal drug operations, we won't cover up wrongdoings, because you can't correct a mistake by making another mistake. These drug syndicates are killing each other. Because of our anti-illegal drugs campaign, some of them weren't able to remit money. The drug lords in Bilibid would call their hitmen to assasinate the distributors who weren't able to remit payments.
So far, Duterte and his trusted men are delivering in their promise to eliminate the drug menace in the Philippines.
But as more dangerous drugs are seized and the death toll rises, many cannot help but wonder: what price are we willing to pay?
Bea Cupin, Rappler, Cavite.