MANILA- Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Tuesday questioned why the Philippine National Police was only going after small-time drug peddlers in its crackdown on illegal drugs.
Carpio, during the third round of oral arguments on petitions challenging the government's anti-narcotics campaign, asked Solicitor General Jose Calida why most of the PNP's anti-drug operations are focused only on the streets.
The magistrate pressed Calida why the police was "practically ignoring big-time" drug lords in its campaign against illegal drugs.
"How come the flagship project of the President is concentrated on going after the small-time peddlers, why not the big-time drug lords?" Carpio said.
Calida, in defending the government's campaign, explained that most of drug bigwigs were Chinese nationals and were not under the jurisdiction of the Philippine legal system.
"The instruction of the President is to go after all of them. However, the big-time Chinese drug lords are outside our jurisdiction. They are in China," Calida told Carpio.
Carpio also asked Calida how many Chinese nationals linked to illegal drugs have been "neutralized" by police, to which the Solicitor General said 419 have been arrested.
Calida, however, did not elaborate whether the 419 were all drug lords, saying they were a "mixture."