DILG: 24,000 arrests, P9.9-B worth of drugs seized under Marcos gov't so far

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 08 2022 02:27 PM | Updated as of Dec 08 2022 04:09 PM

MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s administration seized some P9.9 billion worth of narcotics in its first 5 months, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Thursday. 

Authorities also made at least 24,159 drug-related arrests from July 1 to Nov. 24 this year, DILG records showed.

The Marcos government will continue the drug war unleashed by former President Rodrigo Duterte "with the same intensity as before," said Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos. 

"We will harness the power of the government, communities, youth, schools, churches, the private sector, and every Filipino. We envision a nation in which no life is lost because of drugs," he said in a message read by DILG Director Marlo Guanzon at a press conference.
 
Some 6,200 people died in the Duterte government's anti-drug campaign, according to official figures. But rights groups estimate the true figure was in the tens of thousands. 
 

Marcos has vowed to continue the drug war but with a focus on prevention and rehabilitation.

Police have killed at least 46 drug suspects since Marcos took power, national police chief General Rodolfo Azurin told reporters recently. Activists said the real number was more than a hundred.

But Azurin insisted that "as much as possible" police tried to avoid killing suspects. 

Under pressure from the UN Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court, the Duterte government began examining hundreds of cases of drug operations that led to deaths. 

The effort is still underway and 25 officers have been charged, Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla said in November.

The DILG recently launched the "Buhay Ingatan, Droga’y Ayawan" or BIDA campaign, a nationwide anti-illegal drugs program that focuses on demand reduction and rehabilitation. 

The agency said around 25,000 people pledged support for the initiative.

— With a report from Agence France-Presse

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