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P5.4B worth of drugs seized in two months of Duterte admin —PDEA

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has confiscated more illegal drugs in two months of the Duterte administration than in the first six months of 2016.

In a briefing before lawmakers, PDEA director general Isidro Lapeña said the agency and the PNP confiscated P5.44 billion worth of dangerous drugs such as shabu, marijuana, and ecstasy, from June 30 to August 25.

Lapeña said the value of confiscated drugs in less than two months was significantly higher than the P3.85 billion worth of illegal substances seized by the PDEA and police from January to June 29.

President Rodrigo Duterte assumed the presidency on June 30.

Lapeña said more than a ton of shabu had been taken out of the market after the surrender of 673,978 drug personalities from July 1 to August 22.

"Due to the number of drug [surenderers], we particularly deducted a significant amount of drugs in the streets. The surrender of  673,978 drug personalities means a reduction of 1,040 kilos of shabu in the market translated to P5.2 billion loss in income," Lapeña said.

Following Duterte's pronouncement that the campaign against illegal drugs would be relentless and sustained, Lapeña said the PDEA had stepped up its drive against those involved in the illegal drug trade.

This, he said, led to the raid on the residence of Albuera mayor Ronaldo Espinosa Jr., which yielded 11 kilos of shabu worth P88 million; and the arrest of former Maguing town mayor Johaira Macabuat Abinal, who is tagged as  one of Mindanao’s “shabu queens.”

Also among PDEA’s accomplishments was the raid on the shabu laboratory of alleged Chinese drug lord Mico Tan in Valenzuela last July.

Of the 1,443.37 kilos of shabu that the PDEA has seized as of Aug. 25 this year, close to half or 563.86 kilos were seized during the first two months of the Duterte administration.

Lapeña said the volume of shabu seized in the first eight months of the year has already exceeded the 595.81 kilos of the illegal substance in 2015. —NB, GMA News