257 drug suspects arrested, P12M meth seized in Soccsksargen region in Q1, says PDEA
COTABATO CITY — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the Soccsksargen region said it had sent to jail 257 drug suspects from January to March this year, boosting its drive against illicit drugs.
PDEA-12 Regional Director Aileen Lovitos said the drug personalities included 31 high-value targets, who were arrested during 227 anti-drug operations across the region.
Some P12.1 million worth of crystal meth and cannabis or marijuana have been seized during these operations, Lovitos said.
Lovitos reported to the Regional Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs Coordinating Group meeting on Monday that PDEA-12 seized a total of 1,159.3487 grams of meth and 577.44 grams of dried marijuana leaves and uprooted 21,000 fully grown marijuana hills.
Lovitos also said that now, only 114 of 1,095 villages in Soccsksargen have remained drug-affected. Efforts to rid these 114 villages of the drug menace continue.
Soccsksargen is composed of the provinces of Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani, and the highly urbanized city of General Santos.
Meanwhile, in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), anti-narcotics officials have warned about individuals posing as PDEA agents.
This came as reports circulated of several individuals, who carry out illegal activities using the agency’s name, uniform, and insignia.
“Usurpers, stop or be apprehended,” PDEA Regional Director Christian O. Frivaldo warned.