P904-M illegal drugs seized in PBBM's 1st month in office: PNP

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

August 9, 2022, 12:30 pm

<p><em>(Photo courtesy of DILG)</em></p>

(Photo courtesy of DILG)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has seized a total of PHP904.85 million worth of illegal drugs in 4,650 operations in July alone, highlighting the government's stiff anti-illegal drug campaign on the first month of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s term.

Based on data obtained by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) from the PNP directorate for operations on Monday night, a total of 5,591 drug suspects were arrested, 16 suspects killed in operations, and 188 surrendered during 'Oplan Tokhang' activities from July 1 to 31.

Another 164 suspects, meanwhile, surrendered to authorities.

The biggest anti-drug accomplishment so far under the Marcos administration is the confiscation of around 60 kilograms of shabu worth PHP408 million in a buy-bust operation at the Mega Station along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) at Barangay San Felipe in San Fernando City, Pampanga on July 28.

Upon taking over the helm of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Secretary Benjamin "Benhur" Abalos Jr. earlier vowed to sustain the gains in the anti-illegal drugs campaign, saying he would even join in some of the operations.

He said the campaign would be continued but the Marcos administration would put greater focus on building up strong cases against illegal drug suspects.

Newly-appointed PNP chief, Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., added that the police force will also “liaise and partner” with other government agencies to reduce, if not totally eliminate instances where the country serves as either a market or transshipment point for illegal drugs.

Azurin vowed to strengthen partnerships with the Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Customs, and other government agencies to help sustain the campaign on illegal drugs, and sustain it with the support of the community.

He ordered concerned police units to come up with a more sustainable concept of operations, especially on illegal drugs, local communist terrorists, terrorism, human trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, and other crimes perpetrated by organized crime groups.

Meanwhile, the PNP said surveillance efforts and manhunt operations led to the arrest of seven top wanted persons and 6,474 most wanted, and the surrender of 67 other wanted persons for the month of July.

Under the "no take policy", the PNP also launched 2,559 anti-illegal gambling operations during the same period, which resulted in the arrest of 13,627 persons and the confiscation of bets worth PHP1.5 million.

Some 2,795 illegal gambling cases were also filed in court.

In the campaign against loose firearms, 2,901 guns were either recovered or surrendered while another 2,092 firearms were turned in for safekeeping by owners.

It added that 933 suspects were arrested while 488 cases were filed in court. (PNA)