P18.9-B worth of drugs seized by Duterte’s drug war since start – PDEA

Rambo Talabong
P18.9-B worth of drugs seized by Duterte’s drug war since start – PDEA
Law enforcers conduct a total of 79,492 anti-illegal drugs operations from July 1, 2016 to December 5, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – Ever since President Rodrigo Duterte waged his landmark drug war, law enforcement agencies have seized illegal drugs worth P18.9 billion*.

This was announced by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Friday, December 8, as they shared the latest data on the President’s campaign.

The bulk of those drugs, the PDEA announced, was methamphetamine hydrochloride or ‘shabu‘, of which the Duterte administration seized 2,531.32 kilograms.

From July 1, 2016 to December 5, 2017, law enforcement groups conducted a total of 79,492 anti-illegal drugs operations. 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the PDEA primarily executed these operations, with help too from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National Bureau of Investigation.

The operations also shut down 163 drug dens, 132 marijuana plantation sites, 9 drug laboratories, and 3 chemical warehouses.

The hauls and the closures then led to some 4,747 barangays getting “cleared” of illegal drugs. This means all narcotics-related activities are gone in those villages.

Law enforcers captured 118,392 drug personalities from the operations, and killed 3,968 after they supposedly threatened the lives of lawmen in their resistance from arrest. (READ: Half of Filipinos don’t believe cops’ ‘nanlaban’ line – SWS survey)

With the achievements, Duterte and his drug war continue to enjoy support from majority of Filipinos. It works, as they perceive.

Critics, however, have flagged Duterte’s drug war as too bloody to be glorified.

Human rights groups have questioned the deaths of the 3,968 drug suspects, suspecting cops as intentionally killing their suspects despite surrender or the absence of ties in the drug trade.

The guidelines that the PNP used in reaching those achievements are also under scrutiny at the Supreme Court, as petitioners alleged that they were open to abuse by cops.

As of posting time, the PNP has not yet relaunched its flagship campaign, Oplan Double Barrel, as it has yet to be complemented by new rules to make sure that the PDEA will lead the charge in fulfilling Duterte’s promise of ending illegal drugs within his term. – Rappler.com

*1$ = P50.54

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.