Since the government initiated its campaign against illegal drugs three years ago, over 200,000 have already been arrested, authorities said. 

According to a “Real Numbers” update by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), a total of 220,728 people were arrested in 151,601 anti-illegal drug operations from July 1, 2016, up to November 30, 2019. 

Meanwhile, the death till in the drug war inched higher though it remained at the 5,000 mark at 5,582. 

Also based on the report, 8,185 high-value targets were arrested, 2,290 of which are in the President’s list.

“We need more arrests of high-value targets,” said General Aaron Aquino, PDEA director.

Moreover, Aquino said authorities are eyeing about 186 drug rings in the country.

PDEA and police secure a part of a street during a drug operation in Taguig on Feb 28, 2018. (Image source: The Strait Times)

He also mentioned that the said drug groups are in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of over 12,000 high-value drug targets, which include government officials ranging from congressmen to village chiefs.

On the other hand, a total of 42,025 villages were cleared of illicit drugs while 17,175 have yet to be cleared, officials added. 

Law enforcers have also dismantled 433 drug dens and laboratories since the war on drugs started in 2016.

Police have already seized P40.39 billion, of which P31.25 billion is “shabu,” from illegal drugs and drug-related materials.

Duterte’s administration has pursued a fierce campaign against illegal drugs, mostly netting traders and users of shabu. Earlier this year, the President expressed his frustration over the difficulty of realizing his campaign promise of freeing the country from illegal drugs.


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