MANILA – More than 13,000 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 Thursday.
Based on the latest Real Numbers data released by PDEA, a total of 13,244 HVTs were arrested from July 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2021.
The figure includes 5,692 HVTs arrested from high impact operations, 3,696 target-listed suspects, 1,353 drug den maintainers, 791 drug group leaders/members, 498 government employees, 390 elected officials, 322 foreigners, 283 included on wanted lists, 120 uniformed personnel, 75 armed group members and 24 prominent personalities.
Authorities also arrested 307,521 individuals involved in illegal drugs during the period.
As of August this year, the consolidated report showed 6,191 drug suspects have died during 213,504 anti-illegal drug operations.
From July 2016 to August 2021, authorities also arrested 3,922 minors. This can be broken down into 2,312 pushers; 942 possessors; 427 users; 212 visitors of drug den; nine drug den maintainers; 15 drug den employees, two cultivators, one clan lab employee, and two runners.
Authorities dismantled a total of 875 drug dens and 18 are clandestine shabu laboratories in the same period.
Various types of illegal drugs worth PHP64.09 billion were seized and this amount includes PHP52.96 billion worth of shabu.
At least 22,858 out of the 42,045 barangays (villages) have been declared drug-cleared as of August 31 while 12,477 have yet to be cleared of illegal drugs.
These barangays have reached drug-cleared status after the issuance of a certification by members of the Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug-Clearing Program.
The agency assured that the health and safety of its agents are prioritized in anti-drug operations.
Earlier, PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva said the ‘Barangay PDEA’ program aims to promote a “balanced and humane” anti-drug campaign as it provides the public a more comprehensive platform of information on the harm reduction initiatives of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program (BDCP) like the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program and Balay Silangan, both drug intervention programs for surrendering drug users and pushers to help them reintegrate in the society and become productive citizens.
Villanueva also vowed to go after village chiefs who fail to establish their own barangay drug abuse councils (BADACs).
Villanueva 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 Barangay Drug Clearing Program Working Group for Monitoring and Validation to fast-track drug-clearing operations in the communities and prevents the proliferation of illegal drugs in the barangays. (PNA)