Abalos on efforts vs. big drug groups: Record will speak for itself
Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos cites the recent number of illegal drugs confiscated by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in its efforts to go after syndicates and not just small suspects.
“I think the record will speak for itself for the PNP. We have about close to P11.3 billion as of now in terms of achievement,” he told reporters in an ambush interview on Wenesday.
“Pinakamalaki, sindikato 'to ha, it's about 990 kilos, that's about one ton. Yung record na yun sindikato yun e... Sumunod yung 243 kilos, sindikato rin yun,” he added.
(The biggest confiscation of illegal drugs, this was a syndicate, it’s about 990 kilos or about a ton. It was followed by 243 kilos of confiscated illegal drugs, which was also from a syndicate.)
According to Abalos, these huge confiscations from syndicates are the reason why he called for the courtesy resignations of PNP senior officials.
“Kaya nga nagtawag tayo ng call for resignation... Ito'y mga big fish ang hinuhuli natin (We are capturing the big fish). Of course, we're going to focus on that,” he added.
Meanwhile, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) spokesperson Derrick Carreon told GMA News Online that their agency is focusing on “top tier” suspects.
“As far as PDEA is concerned, we have always been focusing on the top tier considering that we are lesser in number compared to other law enforcement agencies like the PNP,” he said in a message.
Carreon said 15,271 high value targets, which represent local and foreign syndicates, were arrested from July 2016 to May 2022. These included:
364 foreign nationals
406 elected officials
127 uniformed personnel
533 government employees
4,052 target listed
800 drug group leaders and members
78 armed group members
1,719 drug den maintainers
295 wanted listed
24 celebrity or PRC license holder
6,873 arrest from high impact operations
On the sidelines of the 52nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva recently, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has instructed law enforcement agencies to go after drug syndicates instead of street-level players.
“The drug policy is something that we really are trying to look at as a country,” Remulla said in a panel discussion on prison and justice sector reforms and human rights.
"President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has already instructed us, the Department of Justice, law enforcement, and all those involved in drug policy to look at the syndicates behind the drug distribution rather than the users and minor offenders," he added.
Remulla made the remark in reply to questions on the administration’s current policies against illegal drugs. —VAL, GMA Integrated News