Over 9,000 villages 'clean' of drugs in 2018, PDEA claims

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 09 2019 04:32 PM

MANILA- More than 9,000 villages across the country were declared "clean" of illegal drugs, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) claimed Wednesday.

As of Nov. 30, 2018, a total of 9,503 villages were declared "drug-cleaned barangays,” said PDEA Public Information Office chief Derrick Arnold Carreon.

Villages that have yet to be cleared of illegal drugs meanwhile number to 22,641, Carreon added.

Since July 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2018, a total of 164,265 drug personalities have been arrested while 5,050 have died from a total of 115,435 anti-drug operations across the country.

Of those arrested, 606 are government workers.

Meanwhile, seized drugs and laboratory equipment in the same period amounted to P25.19 billion. Methamphetamine, locally known as "shabu" amounted to P18.43 billion.

"May mga nadismantle tayong shabu laboratories…The latest was in Batangas and Pasay,” Carreon said.

(We dismantled shabu laboratories with the latest ones located in Batangas and Pasay.)

Despite this, "Movement for the Restoration of Peace and Order" founder Teresita Ang-See dubbed the government's narcotics crackdown in 2018 as a "colossal failure."

“But 2018 is also a colossal failure...The colossal failure are those that got away,” she said.

Instead of running after drug users and peddlers “who are wearing sandos,” the government should focus on tracking down and arresting big-time drug dealers, Ang-See said.

The campaign against narcotics is among the key promises of President Rodrigo Duterte during his 2016 campaign.