MANILA - Philippine authorities on Wednesday torched $14 million worth of drugs in Cavite province after a recent crackdown.
Investigators incinerated a total of 386 kilograms (850 pounds) worth of cocaine, metamphetamine, marijuana, ecstasy and other expired medicines confiscated during recent drug bust operations.
"We want to emphasize the effectiveness of our law enforcement agencies with our supply reduction efforts. It does not mean that there are a lot of people arrested, but it means there are a lot less drugs circulating and poisoning the minds of the people," Philippine Drug Information Agency (PDEA) Executive Director Arturo Cacdac said.
The drug enforcement agency said there has been a noticeable increase in the number of drug trafficking cases and substance abuse in recent months, with many of the cases in the remote northern and southern farming regions in the Philippines.
Cacdac also commented on the growing debate on the legalization of marijuana in the country.
"Our Pope's message was clear and I have heard the position from the CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines), and I think we should listen to everybody's position. If for example, there's a need to buy those types of medicines, there's a way of buying them without the need to build a marijuana plantation in the Philippines," he said.
Pope Francis warned last Friday against legalizing drugs, calling the addiction "evil" which he said had to be resisted without compromise.
Several lawmakers have previously been proposing for the legalization of marijuana, saying it could be used for medical purposes.