(File photo)

MANILA – A total of 1,531 drug suspects tagged as high-value targets (HVTs) across the country have been arrested during the first 100 days of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

Based on its latest data, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said Tuesday the number is out of a total of 13,391 drug suspects arrested in anti-drug operations from July 1 to Oct. 8.

"This notable breakthrough is a result of consistent and smooth coordination between the PNP and PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) drug enforcement units for the past three months wherein 12,321 anti-illegal drug operations were conducted nationwide,” Azurin said in a statement.

Based on data from the country's 17 police regional offices, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 (Central Visayas) has the biggest accomplishment on arrested HVTs with 250, followed by PRO3 (Central Luzon) with 203, PRO 4A (Calabarzon) with 156, PRO 11 (Davao Region) with 132 and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) with 123.

Azurin said these significant accomplishments show the aggressiveness of the intelligence-driven supply reduction strategy with a strong emphasis on non-violent methods of arrest while ensuring the protection of operating teams engaged in violent confrontation with armed suspects.

“Tulung-tulong tayong lahat na labanan ang ilegal na droga sa pamamagitan ng mas pinaigting na programa upang tuluyang mahuli natin ang mga malalaking sindikato na nagpapakalat ng ilegal na droga sa bansa (Let's all work together to fight illegal drugs through a more intensified program so that we can finally catch the big syndicates that distribute illegal drugs in the country),” Azurin said.

With a holistic approach as the new face of the anti-illegal drug campaign of the government, Azurin assured that the police force will remain at the forefront of the national strategy against the country’s drug problem.

Azurin also recognized the Chief Executive's full support for the PNP's "more focused holistic approach" to putting a stop to drugs and criminality. (PNA)