PRESIDENT Duterte is dead serious in realizing his vision of “zero-drugs” in the country during his presidency, thus the need for the Philippine National Police to double its effort to arrest illegal drug trafficking and abuse this year, PNP chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa said yesterday.
“The President’s target is zero-drugs in all barangays in the country. He wants all barangays to be completely drug-free,” said the PNP chief amid a statement from the President that he will not hesitate to declare Martial Law if necessary “to protect the nation should the problem of illegal drugs get out of hand.”
During a briefing on the PNP Oplan: Double Barrel, Director Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan, the head of the PNP Directorate for Operations told the President that prior to President Duterte’s proclamation, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency records showed that 13,451 barangays or 32 percent of the total 42,036 barangays in the country are considered as “drug-affected.” The PDEA report prior to July 2016 showed that 28,584 or 68 percent of the entire barangays nationwide are ‘not drug-affected.’
On record, the National Capital Region has the highest rate of drug affectation with 92.44 percent or 1,577 of its total 1,706 barangays ‘drug-affected’ followed by Negros Island Region with 53.32 or 650 of its 1,219 barangays and Calabarzon region with 49.10 percent or 1,458 of its total 4,018 barangays tagged as “drug-affected.”
Since July 1 last year up to yesterday, under Project: Double Barrel Alpha police have conducted 41,841 anti-narcotics operations which so far have resulted in the arrest of 45,464 known drug personalities and the killing of 2,250 armed suspects following gunbattles with undercover officers, said PNP spokesman, Senior Superintendent Dionardo B. Carlos.
Over a million confessed drug personalities have also surrendered to the police during the period, nearly 76,000 of them known drug pushers, Carlos added. The PNP spokesman also said that 35 policemen and 3 Armed Forces personnel have been killed while 80 PNP members and 8 soldiers have been wounded while fighting notorious and heavily-armed drug traffickers in the country.
The PNP leadership said they will “stand side by side with President Duterte in his relentless fight versus illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.”