(File photo)

MANILA – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s administration is making significant strides in its relentless campaign against illegal drugs, Malacañang said Thursday.

Acting Presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the anti-narcotics drive led to the seizure of multi billion-peso worth of illegal drugs and the dismantling of drug dens and clandestine shabu laboratories.

“The Palace, thus, maintains that the Duterte Administration’s campaign against illegal drugs remains unprecedented as it is able to produce significant accomplishments in the number of drugs seized, dens and clandestine laboratories dismantled as well as drug-cleared barangays (villages),” Andanar said in a press statement.

He issued the statement, a day after Duterte admitted that he was “wrong” when he promised to end the drug problem in three to six months in office.

In a speech delivered in Cordova, Cebu, Duterte urged drug smugglers to “drop” illegal drugs, if they want peace.

Duterte made the call, as he vented frustrations anew over the seemingly unabated narcotics trade despite the continuing drug war.

Andanar said Duterte is merely giving emphasis to the gravity of the drug problem in the country.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s recent remarks on the illegal drug trade underscores the depth, the magnitude and the complexity of the problem which was unknown to him when he was a presidential candidate,” he said.

Despite this, Andanar cited that as of February 2022, around 9,915 kilograms of shabu amounting to PHP63.43 billion have been seized since Duterte waged a war on illegal drugs in July 2016.

Andanar added that about 1,075 drug dens and clandestine laboratories have been dismantled.

He also noted that a total of 229,868 anti-illegal drug operations have resulted in the arrest of 331,694 drug suspects.

Andanar said around 24,379 villages have been cleared of illegal drugs, while 6,606 have remained unaffected or drug-free. (PNA)