AT LEAST 891 suspected foreign drug traffickers and manufacturers, more than half of them Chinese nationals have been arrested by Philippine anti-narcotics agents since 2001 to date, majority of them still languishing in jail and facing life sentences, the Journal Group learned yesterday.
The foreign drug personalities were arrested in operations conducted by the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and other law enforcements agencies from 2011 to date. So far this year alone, 17 foreigners have been arrested for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 while in 2016, a total of 112 foreigners were arrested and jailed by the PNP headed by Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa and the PDEA chaired by Director General Isidro S. Lapeña.
Records from the PDEA showed that since 2001, 454 Chinese nationals were arrested for involvement in illicit drug activities. The others include 90 Taiwanese, 53 Americans, 12 Hong Kong nationals, 15 Indians, 12 Indonesians, 26 Japanese, 28 Koreans, 16 Malaysians, 26 Nigerians, 10 Pakistanis, 6 Germans, 4 Sudanese, 4 Swedish, 4 Ghanaians and 3 Guinean nationals.
Chinese nationals comprise the bulk of foreign drug personalities jailed by the government. This year alone, PDEA and PNP agents have already arrested 6 Chinese nationals. In 2016, a total of 44 Chinese mainlanders were jailed for drugs.
The number of Chinese nationals arrested in past years follows: 2015-25; 2014-40; 2013-38; 2012-23; 2011-19; 2010-38; 2009-29; 2008-14; 2007-14; 2006-17; 2005-18; 2004-21; 2003-51; 2002-22; and 2001-35.
From January to date, 17 foreigners have been jailed for violation of RA 9165. In 2016, there were 112; followed by 38 in 2015; 67 in 2014; 77 in 2013; 66 in 2012; 45 in 2011; 70 in 2010; 49 in 2009; 33 in 2008; 36 in 2007; 28 in 2006; 30 in 2005; 58 in 2004; 76 in 2003; 32 in 2002; and 52 in 2001.
According to the PDEA, many of Chinese-led foreign drug personalities remain jailed in the country. One of them is non-English speaking 27-year old Chinese woman named Liming Zhou who was arrested early this year upon her arrival at the Mactan Cebu International Airport for carrying around four kilograms of shabu worth P20 million.
The drugs were found concealed in Zhou’s suitcase. Lapeña said that Zhou is from the mountain province of Huna in Southern China. The suspect whose passport was issued by the People’s Republic of China last January 15 and will expire on January 15, 2026 has been charged for drug trafficking before the Department of Justice.
According to Lapeña, the number one drug of abuse in the Philippines is shabu followed by marijuana and the designer drug called Ecstasy.