NEARLY 63,000 anti-narcotics operations conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police across the country since the start of the Duterte administration on July 1, 2016 have already led in the arrest of more than 84,000 notorious drug personalities and the killing of almost 3,200 armed drug traffickers in gunbattles with officers, officials said yesterday.
Both PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña and PNP chief, Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa, also maintained that despite the flurry of criticisms being raised by critics on their war on drugs, ‘drug-related’ crimes are really decreasing since July last year. So far, 47 law enforcers, majority of them policemen have been killed and 132 have been wounded.
The past 11 months also saw the seizure of over P18 billion worth of shabu and its precursors and other manufacturing equipment. Lapeña also defended the discrepancy in the war on drugs’ figures being released by the PDEA and the PNP saying that naturally, the figures being churned out by the PNP would be very different with the total figures being collated by the Inter-Agency Committee on Drugs or ICAD since it already includes all the figures combined by the PNP, the PDEA, the National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Customs and other law enforcement agencies.
Citing ‘Real Numbers Philippines Data,’ Lapeña said that from July 1, 2016 to last June 13, a total of 62,751 anti-narcotics operations have been conducted by agents of the PDEA, the PNP, the NBI and other law enforcement agencies.
Those operations, Lapeña said, had already resulted in the arrest of 84,467 men and women who have gained notoriety for the illicit sale of shabu, marijuana, Ecstasy and other prohibited drugs.
On the other hand, a total of 3,151 armed drug suspects have been killed in gunbattles with anti-narcotics officers during the conduct of buy-bust operations, service of search warrants and other anti-drug interdiction operations.
A total of 1,306,389 confessed drug traffickers and users have also surrendered to authorities as a result of the PNP Oplan: Tokhang.
Lapeña said the same period also saw the arrest of 292 government workers for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, many of them either elected barangay officials, politicians and law enforcers. They include 142 elected officials and 119 uniformed personnel.
From July 1 last year to last June 6, government agents have already seized an estimated P18.01 billion worth of shabu and other controlled precursors and essential chemicals and laboratory equipment. Last week’s accomplishments by the PDEA and the PNP Drug Enforcement Group headed by Senior Superintendent Graciano J. Mijares brought to P18.40 billion the amount of dangerous drugs hauled by the government or an increase of P2.17 billion
The PDEA chief, named by President Duterte as the chairman of the ICAD which was created last March 6 and composed of 20 law enforcement and other state agencies, said they are collating all anti-drug statistics from PDEA, PNP, NBI and other agencies involved in the massive war on drugs.
Amid criticisms from local and international human rights groups, the PDEA and the PNP leadership has maintained that drug-related crimes have dropped by more than 12 percent since President Duterte assumed office.
The PNP also noted a significant reduction in cases of robbery, theft, carnapping, rape and physical injuries over the past nine months and credited it to the ongoing war on drugs.
Citing official validated records from 2010 to date -- with the 2013 figures serving as baseline date for the succeeding years to date -- the PNP said the crime volume during the period in review has gone down from a high of 207,705 during the 1st quarter of 2013 to 134,848 during the 1st quarter of 2017.
There was a total of 89,095 index crimes recorded during the 1st quarter of 2013 and the number has gone down significantly during the succeeding years with the 1st quarter of 2017 figures placed at 30,162. Index crimes are crimes which are serious in nature and which occur with sufficient frequency and regularity that they can serve as an index to a crime situation.
They include the crimes of murder, homicide, physical injury, carnapping, cattle-rustling, robbery, theft and rape.
In 2013, a total of 9,153 murder and 7,007 homicide cases were recorded by the police. In 2014, a total of 9,756 murder cases and 3,349 homicide cases were recorded followed by 9,646 murder and 2,835 homicide cases in 2015.
In 2016, there were a total of 11,385 murder cases and 2,238 homicide cases recorded. During the 1st quarter of 2017, police have recorded 2,438 murder cases and 504 homicide cases.
From July 1, 2016 to last March 31, the PNP Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management headed by Director Augusto M. Marquez Jr. said that they recorded a total of 9,432 homicide cases with 10,219 victims.
Marquez said that of these incidents, 1,847 or 19.6 percent were found to be drug-related; 1,894 or 20.1 percent are non-drug related while the motives behind the remaining 5,691 other homicide cases or 60.3 percent of the total figure are yet to be determined.
Marquez said that during the period, police have solved 249 homicide cases related to illegal drugs and 2,856 others which are not related to illegal drugs.
This means that of the 9,432 homicide cases recorded during the period, 3,105 or 32.92 percent have been solved by the police while 6,327 or 67.08 percent are still under investigation.
Marquez said that records will also show that during the same period, 81 suspects in illegal drugs- related murder and homicide cases have been arrested while 168 others are still being hunted.
He added that when it comes to murder and homicide cases which were found to be not connected with illegal drugs, police have arrested 1,762 suspects and filed a total of 2,856 cases. Another 1,094 suspects in these non-drug related killers are still being tracked down as of press time, he said.
PNP Director for Operations, Director Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan said the Duterte government’s war against illegal drug trafficking and abuse which he described as ‘successful’ particularly saw a great reduction in the number of the five ‘focus crimes’ namely physical injury, robbery, theft, carnapping and rape.
Officials said many of these crimes used to be perpetrated by drug users who are known to have murdered even innocent victims or raped women of all ages while high on shabu or marijuana which have been described as the two most abused drug in the country.