THE illegal drugs trade could lose at least P5.2 billion worth of shabu in the next four months as a result of the intensified anti-illegal drugs campaign of President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Isidro La Pena predicted yesterday.
During the briefing conducted by the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs chaired by Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, Lapeña said at least 673,978 drug dependents, including 44,839 pushers have surrendered from July 1 to August 22, 2016.
From July to December this year, Lapeña estimated that 1,040 kilos of shabu valued at P5.2 billion will disappear from the streets if 673,978 users will no longer take shabu.
“Based on consumption estimate, if the users who surrendered will stop using drugs in the next six months (July to December), an estimated 1,040 kilos of shabu will be reduced in the market or P5.2 billion losses for drug traffickers,” said Lapeña.
Barbers urged the House leadership to increase the budget of all agencies involved in the war against illegal drugs.
“But above all these, let us put the money where the mouth is, so to speak. How can one expect to win this war when the funding agency, DBM (Department of Budget and Management), does not even consider this as a priority, so much so that instead of increasing the budget of the anti-drug law enforcement agencies, it did just the opposite. When the President declared this all out war against illegal drugs, all of us have the duty to give him everything he needs to succeed. All the government agencies tasked to carry out this war should be given the best ammunition they need — budget. Otherwise let us just forget this whole thing and treat the President’s order as a big joke,” Barbers emphasized.
Lapeña also disclosed that various courts in the countryside have acquitted at least 50 percent of drug suspects from the total number of cases filed in the last 14 years.
From 2002 until 2016, Lapeña said 23,776 drug-related cases had been filed by PDEA, Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other agencies of the government.
According to him, the PNP filed the most number of cases with 20,425 and 10,380 of these or 51 percent ended with the acquittal of the respondents while 5,574 of the cases or 27 percent were dismissed while 4,471 of the cases or 22% resulted in conviction of the accused.
In the case of PDEA, Lapeña said 1,984 cases were filed, but only 502 of these cases or 26% resulted in conviction while 837 cases or 42 percent were dismissed and 645 or 32% of the accused were acquitted.
Out of 128 cases filed by the NBI, Lapena said 56 cases resulted in conviction while 38 cases were dismissed and the respondents from 34 cases were acquitted by the court.