“War on drugs goes on” – PDEA chief
June 20, 2017
QUEZON CITY, June 20 (PIA) – The war on illegal drugs goes on. This was the statement of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s (PDEA) Director General Isidro S. Lapeña during the recent 15th anniversary of the agency with Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II as guest of honor and speaker.

“For 15 years, PDEA has been at the forefront in the national anti-drug campaign. PDEA will continue to lead the charge against illegal drugs and emerge victorious,” said Lapeña.

During the event, PDEA awarded three informants through Operation: Private Eye – an incentive and reward scheme to encourage private citizens to report suspected illegal drug activities happening in their neighborhood to PDEA.

Likewise, the agency honored its personnel who have demonstrated exceptional service over and above the call of duty.

The anniversary program also featured an audio-visual presentation which showcased the PDEA Director General’s Executive Report, summarizing the anti-drug accomplishments at the onset of the war on drugs from July 1, 2016 to May 15, 2017.

Lapeña lauded the combined efforts of PDEA and other law enforcement agencies for the anti-drug accomplishments posted for the period, wherein 57,892 anti-drug operations conducted; 73,125 drug personalities arrested; P14.52 billion worth of dangerous drugs seized; eight clandestine shabu laboratories dismantled; 139 drug dens dismantled; 43 marijuana eradication operations conducted and 112 marijuana plantation sites destroyed resulting in the destruction of P4.96 billion worth of illegal hemp; and the filing of 35,274 airtight drug cases, among others.

“Due to the intensified anti-drug campaign, unprecedented accomplishments in all fronts were recorded,” Lapeña said.

Likewise, PDEA has instituted strategic operational thrusts in accordance with President Duterte’s marching order to stop the drug problem within the bounds of the law.

The agency implemented balancedand integrated approaches of supply and demand reduction strategies under the Barangay Drug Clearing Program.

“We believe that the final battle against illegal drugs will be fought and won right in front of each and every doorstep in barangays,” Lapeña said, adding that 47 percent or 19,710 of 42,036 barangays or villages nationwide are affected by drugs.

“Also, the creation of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, or ICAD, has unified, integrated, and synchronized all anti-drug efforts and strategies to holistically address the drug problem,” he added.

Lapeña cited the phenomenon of drug personalities voluntarily surrendering to authorities- a “first” in Philippine history, or in any part of the world. “This translates into instant disruption of the illegal drug distribution channel and a 26.45 percent reduction of the estimated total drug market of 4.7 million drug users in the country,” he added.

As the drug war escalates, the country’s crime rate dropped by 28.57 percent. Most heinous crimes are apparently fueled by illegal drug use. The government, through benefactors, has reduced the desire for illegal drugs through the establishment of treatment and rehabilitation centers nationwide.

“The drug war is a battle we cannot afford to lose. When so much is at stake, failure is never an option. Every citizen must pursue the fight to the hilt, in order to emerge victorious,” the PDEA chief concluded. (PDEA/RJB/JEG/PIA-NCR)