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Not true anti-drugs ops flourished only now – exiting PNP chief

183 drugs suspects already killed so far in 2016 alone, says outgoing police director general Marquez
By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 01:18 PM June 29, 2016
PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez. SCREENGRAB FROM PNP PIO VIDEO.

PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez. SCREENGRAB FROM PNP PIO VIDEO.

MANILA — In the last speech he would give as the country’s top police official, outgoing Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ricardo Marquez took the opportunity to correct public perceptions that the anti-narcotics police operations only started to step up after anti-crime stalwart Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte won as President.

“There is no truth to statements that it is only now that the police’s fight against drugs has flourished,” Marquez said in Filipino, in a speech he delivered on Monday afternoon during retirement honors for him at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City. The ceremonies were attended by no less then President Aquino, who had appointed Marquez as the PNP chief in 2015.

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“If you would remember in my inaugural address last year, I said we’ll go down and bring our campaign against illegal drugs to the community level,” Marquez added. Marquez took office in July 2015.

To prove his point, Marquez enumerated that from January to mid-June this year alone, “we already accounted for more than 18,000 illegal drug personalities and confiscated more than 680,000 grams of ‘shabu’ (methamphetamine hydrochloride).”

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Too, Marquez announced: “From January to June this year, there have been 183 fatalities in encounters between our police officers and clandestine [drug] laboratory workers, drug pushers and users.”

“Our police force has never shied away from defending especially our youth against drug dealers and pushers,” Marquez said. “We have never wavered in our campaign against illegal drugs, and in fact, we have activated the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group,” he added.

Marquez, the 20th PNP chief, retired on Tuesday after 38 years in service. He was set to retire in August but submitted a courtesy early resignation to allow the incoming Duterte administration free rein to pick its top PNP official.

Under Marquez’ one-year tour of office, he highlighted “back-to-basics” police patrol in communities, deploying more than 25,000 police personnel on the streets.

Marquez, in his speech, boasted that in Metro Manila—where the anti-crime model “Lambat-Sibat” was first implemented—crimes against property went down 81 percent, from a weekly average of 1,012 in June 2014 to only 200 in recent weeks.” Crime against persons also decreased in the same period, with the weekly average for homicide going down from 13 to only two, physical injuries from 169 to 70, and murder from 35 to 20.

In the same period, “national level overall crime volume went down 10 percent. The volume of index crime declined by 27 percent,” Marquez said.  SFM

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