Authorities confiscated large quantities of suspected "shabu" (crystal meth) estimated to cost more than P1.6 million in anti-illegal drug operations in different parts of the country on Saturday.
In Bataan, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operatives and police seized P731,200 worth of suspected shabu from a man in Barangay Gabon, Abucay town.
The suspect, considered a "high-value target," has been under surveillance since September after authorities received a tip from a concerned citizen about the illegal drug trade in the barangay (village), authorities said.
In Oriental Mindoro, personnel from the PDEA-Mimaropa office arrested a suspect identified as Louie Miraflores Ereve, who yielded P325,000 worth of suspected shabu during a buy-bust operation in Pola town.
The suspect works outside the province but comes home to occasionally sell illegal drugs, PDEA agents said.
He previously had a job at the Pola municipal disaster office but was terminated, authorities said.
In Talisay City, Cebu, police nabbed a female suspect and confiscated some P578,000 worth of suspected shabu during a buy-bust operation.
Talisay police chief Lt. Col. Randy Caballes said the suspect was also arrested due to illegal drugs in January 2017.
"She availed the plea bargaining and was released from prison last December 2019," Caballes said, adding that police investigation revealed the suspect returned to selling illegal drugs after she was freed.
"She get[s] her supplies of shabu from a certain Keir as the middleman, who is currently incarcerated at Cebu City Jail," Caballes said.
The suspects will be charged with violating Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
On Saturday, law enforcement authorities launched a revamped drug war program anchored on physical activities and cooperation from the grassroots level in order to deter drug use and protect human lives.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said its Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan (BIDA) program aims to clamp down the demand in drugs through communities.
This is a 180-degree turn from President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr’s predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte, whose drug war killed thousands of people and was marked by alleged human rights violations.
Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said the drug war under the current administration must be hinged on human rights and the Constitution.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) turned over P12.5 million worth of alleged contrabands to the PDEA in Central Luzon last Thursday.
The contrabands include mostly illegal drugs confiscated from the Port of Clark from March to November this year.
The drugs were packaged as massage oil, candies and toys until they were discovered through X-ray inspection and shipment profiling, the BOC said.
— Reports from Gracie Rutao, Noel Alamar and Annie Perez