MANILA – More than 11,000 drug high-value targets (HVTs) across the country have been arrested since the start of the Duterte administration’s crackdown on illegal drugs in mid-2016, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said on Monday.
Based on the latest PDEA’s #RealNumbersPH data, government operatives apprehended a total of 11,479 HVTs, including 300 foreign nationals and 946 government workers, from July 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2021.
Among the arrested government workers, 375 are elected officials, 463 are government employees, and 108 are uniformed personnel.
The arrested HVTs also include 4,706 individuals who were apprehended in “high impact” operations, 3,302 target-listed suspects, 1,122 drug den maintainers, 771 drug group leaders/members, 240 included on wanted lists, 72 armed-group members and 20 prominent personalities.
Authorities also arrested 279,623 individuals involved in illegal drugs while 6,069 persons died during the 193,532 anti-illegal drug operations in the last four years, according to the consolidated report of PDEA.
Government anti-drug operatives also rescued 3,595 children involved in illegal drug activities, including 2,070 tagged as pushers, 918 possessors, 405 drug users, and 177 visitors of drug den.
The number of dismantled drug dens and clandestine laboratories have so far reached 730.
The total value of seized drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals (CPECs), and laboratory equipment is now PHP57.81 billion, including PHP47.65 billion worth of shabu (7,593 kilos).
At least 21,252 out of the 42,045 barangays (villages) have also been declared drug-cleared after the issuance of a certification by members of the Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug-Clearing Program (BDCP).
Last year, the PDEA launched the “Barangay PDEA” program which aims to promote a “balanced and humane” anti-drug campaign.
PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva said the program provides the public a more comprehensive platform of information on the harm reduction initiatives of the BDCP like the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program and Balay Silangan, both drug intervention programs for surrendering drug users and pushers to help them re-integrate in the society and become productive citizens.
Villanueva vowed to go after village chiefs who fail to establish their own barangay drug abuse councils (BADACs).
He said PDEA, as the lead agency against illegal drugs, has adopted a three-pronged strategy in the national anti-drug campaign which focuses on reducing its supply, demand, and harmful effects.
The agency has created a BDCP Working Group for Monitoring and Validation to fast-track drug-clearing operations in the communities and prevent the proliferation of illegal drugs in the barangays. (PNA)