MANILA – Operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) seized PHP460 million worth of illegal drugs and arrested 6,248 drug suspects in the first month of 2023, the country's top cop said Thursday.
PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said the 4,632 operations conducted in January resulted in the confiscation of illegal drugs with an estimated street value of PHP460,106,164.49.
“The impressive achievements highlight the effectiveness of the intelligence-driven approach to reducing supply, which places a strong emphasis on non-violent means of making arrests while ensuring the safety of teams involved in violent encounters with armed suspects through proper equipment and training. This is the new face of our anti-illegal drugs campaign,” Azurin said in a statement.
He said the centerpiece of this effort is the Recovery and Wellness Program, which is part of the Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations through Reinforcement and Education (ADORE), the final phase of the PNP's endgame strategy against drug abuse.
During operations in January, four drug suspects who resisted lawful arrest died.
Azurin, however, said the PNP is taking measures to ensure the safety of all parties involved in the anti-illegal drug campaign.
"The PNP is committed to bringing justice to the Filipino people and ensuring their safety, but we also understand the importance of protecting the rights of all individuals involved in the operations. We are continuously working to balance these responsibilities," he said.
The PNP's relentless pursuit of big-time drug pushers is also a key component of the government's overall strategy to combat illegal drugs through the “Buhay Ingatan, Droga'y Ayawan” (BIDA) program of Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr.
“With these successful operations, the PNP is sending a clear message that illegal drug activity will not be tolerated. This is just the beginning. We will not rest until we have completely stamped out this problem and restored peace and security to our communities. We remain committed to working hand in hand with the public to combat this menace," Azurin said.
In a related development, Police Regional Office (PRO) 2 (Cagayan Valley) chief Brig. Gen. Percival Rumbaoa said 31 drug personalities were arrested in 28 police operations conducted which resulted in the confiscation of 30.12 grams of shabu and 186.71 grams of marijuana with an estimated street value of PHP245,856.85 from Jan. 22 to 28.
Also arrested were 176 wanted persons, including seven topmost wanted persons while 35 were arrested in nine operations against illegal gambling during the period.
Furthermore, six individuals were arrested in seven operations for violating the Forestry Code, which resulted in the confiscation of 1,667.8 Board Feet Worth PHP71,000.
The unit also facilitated the surrender of two regular members of the New People's Army (NPA), nine NPA members in the barrio, and 48 former rebel supporters in support of the anti-insurgency drive.
The report also revealed the arrest of 219 individuals in 33 operations for various law violations across the region.
While in other violations of law, a total of 219 individuals were arrested in 33 police operations conducted in different places in the region. (PNA)