Albayalde sees more deaths, arrests, operations in drug campaign
Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde expects the number of antidrug operations, arrests and deaths to rise further as he stressed that the fight against illegal drugs was far from over.
Albayalde said the figures on the anti-illegal drug campaign would “definitely” go up as illegal narcotics remained a serious problem in the country.
“Itong mga numbers na ito will go up definitely kasi malaki pa rin ang problema natin sa illegal drugs. There are only a few barangays cleared as of this time,” Albayalde told a press briefing in Camp Crame in Quezon City on Monday.
(These numbers will go up definitely because we still have a huge problem on illegal drugs.)
According to the PNP’s #RealNumbers update from July 1, 2016 to April 30, 2018, the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted 98,799 antidrug operations that resulted in the arrest of 142,069 drug suspects and the death of 4,251.
Of those arrested, 239 were government employees, 217 were elected officials, and 48 were uniformed personnel.
A total of 1,271,163 have also surrendered since the launch of the campaign and 184,252 have graduated from the PNP recovery wellness program. Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag said the figure did not include drug rehabilitation efforts of other agencies like the Department of Health and Department of Social Welfare and Development.
In the same period, authorities seized P20.23-billion worth of illegal drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, and drug-manufacturing equipment. Of the amount, P13.81 billion represented 2,676 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride (also known as shabu).
Two years into the campaign, 75,336 PNP anti-illegal drug cases have been referred for prosecution while 49,034 cases have been filed in court.
Despite the soaring numbers, Albayalde said it was difficult to quantify the target for each aspect because of the magnitude of the drug problem, which has unraveled as President Rodrigo Duterte assumed into power in 2016.
The police chief, however, said that the government was “winning” the war on drugs because of its impact on peace and order as shown in the decrease in the crime volume and crime incidents.
“Ang sinabi lang naman ni Presidente ‘di talaga tayo titigil, not until the last drug pusher or supplier is put behind bars,” Albayalde said.
(What the President said was we would never stop (the antidrug drive), not until the last drug pusher or supplier is put behind bars.)
The deadly campaign has been criticized by several local and international groups and institutions, and is the subject of a preliminary examination by the International Criminal Court. /cbb