AT LEAST 215 target drug personalities have been arrested in separate anti-narcotics operations in the country since the start of the Duterte administration which also resulted in the seizure of around P2.6 billion worth of shabu and other dangerous drugs, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Isidro S. Lapeña said yesterday.
The official said the record drug haul was made during the first month of the Duterte presidency and amid the three to six months’ timeline set by the president to rid the country of illegal drugs.
He said that last July, the PDEA with the support of the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies conducted 123 anti-drug operations leading to the capture of the 215 drug suspects, some of them Chinese nationals, and the confiscation of shabu, its controlled precursors and essential chemicals worth P2,594,006,920.
“The P2.5 billion seizure of illegal drugs was achieved only in a month’s time, compared to the total estimated value of P2.86 billion confiscated the entire year of 2015,” said Lapeña.
Out of the recovered drug evidence, 180 kilograms of shabu valued at P900 million were dug up in a farm in Barangay Culao, Claveria, Cagayan by joint PDEA, PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group, the Bureau of Customs and the local police.
During the period, the PDEA and the PNP also smashed two shabu laboratories and one storage facility.
He said that last July 5, joint elements of the PDEA, the Southern Police District and the Las Piñas City Police Station arrested two Taiwanese nationals during a raid on a secret drug lab in Philamlife Village, Pamplona Dos, Las Piñas City.
On the same day, the same operating units dismantled a warehouse used as a storage facility in Executive Villagers Society, Phase 5, Parañaque City. One Taiwanese national was arrested as a result of the operation.
On July 11, a sea vessel utilized as a shabu laboratory was seized by the PDEA and the PNP in Bgy. Calapandayan, Subic, Zambales. Four Chinese nationals were arrested during the Subic raid.
In addition, the period saw the neutralization of Meco Tan, a big-time drug lord during the implementation of lawful search in a compound in Pinagbayanan Street, Bgy. Lingunan, Valenzuela City last July 22, Lapeña added.
Last July 23, combined operatives of the PDEA Regional Office 10 and the local police raided two targets in Cagayan de Oro City and arrested 10 drug suspects led by Johaira Macabuat alias Mayora Marimar, a former mayor of Maguing, Lanao del Sur, and her husband, Army Major Suharto Macabuat .
“The timeline has been set and the targets have been identified. PDEA and other partner agencies are working diligently to address the self-imposed obligations made by President Duterte to the Filipino people,” the PDEA chief said.