Events, People and Places

Duterte’s relentless drug war yields close to P60B seized

By Jerome Carlo Paunan

MANILA, — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday made mention the achievements the government made so far in the “unyielding” drug war, including the capture of close P59.93 billion worth of illegal substance.

“Our unyielding campaign led to the surrender of millions of drug dependents and neutralization, capture, and prosecution of thousands of drug personalities; the dismantling of illegal drugs and syndicates and the drug laboratories; the extensive drug-(clearing) of communities down to the barangay-level, and the cutting of narco politics,” the President said during his 6th and last State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed that a total of P59.93 billion worth of drugs have been seized since the start of Duterte’s term in 2016.

While more than 22,000 barangays (villages) have also been cleared of illegal drugs.

Despite all these, however, he said the government still has a “long way” in its fight against the proliferation of drugs.

He narrated finding out that his administration’s drug war is also being participated in by “nine generals of the Philippine National Police.”

“Kaya ‘yan ang masakit sa loob ko (This is why I am upset). I did not know that I was fighting my own government. Customs and everyone else were facilitating the importation of drugs. And one importation, as you can see it every night on TV, the police now seize about almost a billion worth of drugs every day,” he added.

In 2016, Duterte identified five retired police generals – Marcelo Garbo, former Daanbantayan mayor Vicente Loot, Joel Pagdilao, Edgardo Tinio, and Bernardo Diaz, as “protectors” of the illegal drugs trade.

Besides police generals, he said, about a thousand Filipinos are arrested every day in connection with drug trafficking.

“That is why I go crazy looking at the situation. They are still around. We do not have the laboratories now because nawala na sila at itong naiwan ngayon (they are all gone and these that are left) are doing the importation,” he said.

Duterte lamented that until now, it is still easy for Filipinos to import drugs from other countries.

The President, meanwhile, also reiterated his warning to go after those involved in the illegal drug trade.

“Those who destroy my country, I will kill you. And those who destroy the young people of our country, I will kill you. Talagang yayariin kita (I will run after you) because I love my country,” he said. (PIA-NCR)

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