MANILA, Dec 23 (Mabuhay) — Authorities have dismantled some 1,000 clandestine shabu laboratories and drug dens in the country and seized around PHP74.3 billion worth of illegal drugs and laboratory equipment since the start of the Duterte administration’s crackdown on illegal drugs in mid-2016, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Tuesday night.

Año reported that law enforcement operations resulted in the recovery of PHP62.36 billion worth of shabu which translates to 9,755.54 kilograms and over 500 kilograms of cocaine, 149,138 pieces of ecstasy, and more than 9,300 kilograms of marijuana were also seized in the government’s massive anti-illegal drugs drive.

He also disclosed that 982 drug dens and 18 clandestine laboratories have been dismantled and also destroyed 7,336.55 kilograms of shabu, 3,784.33 kilograms of marijuana, 12.64 kilograms of ecstasy, 510.52 kilograms of cocaine, and 3,390.74 kilograms of other dangerous drugs.

As for the Duterte administration’s massive campaign against illegal drugs through the cooperation of local government units’ anti-drug abuse council, Año said 23,686 out of the 35,416 drug-affected barangays nationwide now considered drug-cleared.

“Sa ginawa nating operation kasama po ang ating mga LGUs at nagsagawa ng ating Anti-Drug Abuse Council. Sa buong 42,045 barangays sa buong Pilipinas, pagpasok po natin sa —pagpasok po ninyo sa administration na ito ay mayroon pong 35,416 barangays na drug-affected. Ngayon po ay 23,686 na ang na-clear natin ito na lang ang natitira at kaya natin itong tapusin bago po matapos ang inyong termino (During the operation, we worked with our LGUs and Anti-Drug Abuse Council. In all 42,045 barangays in the Philippines, when started under your administration, there are 35,416 drug-affected barangays. Now we have cleared 23,686 and we can finish it before the end of your term),” he stressed.

Año noted that a total of 319,929 individuals involved in illegal drugs were arrested and also showed 6,221 drug suspects have died during 221,657anti-illegal drug operations.

The numerous anti-drug operations also yielded the arrest of 13,996 high-value targets which included 511 government workers, 394 elected officials, 126 uniformed personnel, and 349 foreign nationals.

Año said that 11,035 individuals have so far availed of community-based wellness and recovery programs for drug surrenderers as part of the government’s holistic approach to the illegal drug problem.

“Mayroon tayong Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program 11,035 ito po iyong mga tinatawag natin na mga mild lamang na mga drug user na hindi naman kailangang i-commit sa rehab center at nasa kani-kanilang mga community lamang at masasabi po natin ay isa ito sa pinaka-effective na effort po natin para mapababa ang demand (We have a Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program 11,035 these are what we call mild drug users who do not have to commit to the rehab center and are only in their respective communities and we can say that this is one of the most -our effective effort to reduce demand),” Año said.

“Sa ngayon ay mayroon na ring 22 Drug Treatment Rehabilitation Centers na sa pangangalaga po ng DOH, at mayroon isang Mega Drug Rehab Center po na nandoon sa Cabanatuan (Currently, there are 22 Drug Treatment Rehabilitation Centers under the care of the DOH, and there is a Mega Drug Rehab Center in Cabanatuan.),” he added.

In the same report, Año noted that a total of 4,086 minors used by drug peddlers in their illegal operations were rescued, stressing that the administration’s anti-drug campaign has resulted in lower crime rates.

“Almost 41 percent ang ibinaba ng crime volume. Tumaas din po ang ating crime solution efficiency, naging 85 percent at tumaas din po ‘yong crime conclusion efficiency (The crime volume dropped to almost 41 percent. Our crime solution efficiency soared to 85 percent),’’ Año pointed out.

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the rescued minors, after court proceedings, will be turned over to the Bahay Pag-asa centers of LGUs within eight hours of police custody, before turning them over to the DSWD.

Since they are minors, the DSWD said they would not be put behind bars together with hardened criminals. (MNS)

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