MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, on Monday said law enforcers have seized around PHP11 billion worth of illegal drugs and arrested 38,178 suspects in intensified operations nationwide during the first half of 2020.
Gamboa made the announcement in a press briefing at Camp Crame, highlighting the continuing police action in support of the government’s national campaign against illegal drugs.
“Some PHP 11-billion worth of illegal drugs in the form of crystal meth and marijuana products were seized as police anti-drug units launched 25,612 separate operations across the country with 38,178 high-value targets, drug peddlers and drug users arrested during the first half of the year,” Gamboa told reporters.
Data covering the period January 1 to June 30, 2020, showed that police anti-drug units in coordination with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Regional Units have seized a total of 1,571.33 kilograms shabu and 2,907 kgs of marijuana—with an estimated total value of PHP11.03 billion.
Gamboa said the opening days of the 2nd semester of year 2020 also ushered in a series of successful operations that sustained the momentum of the campaigns against illegal drugs and organized crime during the past six months.
During the first week of July, he said law enforcers arrested in a drug bust eight members of a drug syndicate operating from Meycauayan City, seizing 10 kgs of shabu worth PHP68 million.
In Quezon City on July 4, four suspects were also arrested by PDEA and QC Police District agents for trafficking some 4,000 grams of shabu worth PHP27 million.
Also last Saturday, Cordillera Police destroyed some 63,000 fully-grown marijuana plants worth PHP12 million in a clandestine farm in Tinglayan, Kalinga province, while another buy-bust operation in Taguig City on Sunday resulted to the arrest of a female suspect with 500 grams of crystal meth worth PHP3.4 million.
Earlier, Gamboa said the PNP has shifted its anti-drug campaign to “supply reduction”.
“The PNP actually evolved in the operation against illegal drugs. Ang inuna dun is to stop talaga ‘yung demand and later on, nag-evolve (Before, our priority was to stop the demand and later on, it has evolved),” he said, referring to the first strategy of the campaign which focused on street-level drug trade.
He said the strategy has led to the confiscation of illegal drugs worth billions of pesos in recent police operations.
“As a matter of fact, you can see now we have apprehensions by the billions of pesos worth of drugs, which is practically supply reduction. So, (the campaign) against illegal drugs of course under the auspices of the Philippine anti-drug campaign strategy which is being supervised by DDB (Dangerous Drugs Board),” he said. (PNA)