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More in gov’t involved in illegal drugs–PDEA

/ 05:20 AM February 25, 2015

MANILA, Philippines–They are supposed to uphold the law but instead many public servants turned out to be lawbreakers themselves by being involved in the illegal drug trade.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has noted the rising number of public officials and employees being arrested on drug-related charges, with almost 200 arrested last year.

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PDEA Director General Arturo Cacdac Jr. said those arrested included elected officials and law enforcers caught peddling drugs.

“It is alarming that more civil servants are now involved in illegal drug activities when they should be implementing the law, maintain peace and order, and promote the people’s well-being,” he said.

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PDEA’s 2014 annual report said 190 public officials and employees were arrested last year for involvement in illegal drugs.

Of this figure, 56 were elected officials, 49 were law enforcers and 85 were government employees.

Cacdac noted that this figure was 37.68 percent higher than the figure in 2013, during which 138 public servants were arrested for illegal drugs. 2014’s figure was the highest since 2011.

Of the 56 elected officials arrested, one was a municipal councilor of Matanog, Maguindanao, while the rest were either barangay (village) chairs or councilors.

Meanwhile, a chief inspector in the Philippine National Police (PNP) was the highest-ranking among the law enforcers arrested by PDEA.

Most of those arrested were from the Ilocos region with 25, followed by the Eastern Visayas where 22 were arrested.

Cacdac said the Zamboanga Peninsula and Northern Mindanao registered the highest number of law enforcers arrested at 10 and eight, respectively.

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PDEA filed more drug cases in 2014 compared to the pprevious year as it tightened its crackdown on illegal drugs in the country.

PDEA lodged 17,074 cases before the courts in 2014, a 62.57-percent increase from the previous year’s 10,502 cases filed.

However, it noted the low conviction rate in the past 12 years.

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TAGS: drug arrests, Drug Trade, Government, government employees, Illegal drugs, PDEA, Philippines
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