Philippines calls first year of anti-drug war 'success'

Anti-drug agency, however, admits there is still much to be done to eradicate illegal drugs from country

Philippines calls first year of anti-drug war 'success'

World Bulletin / News Desk

The first year of war against drugs initiated by Philippines president has been a success, the country’s anti-drug law enforcement agency said on Friday despite international human rights groups condemnation of killings carried out under the campaign.

“I would say that we are successful,” Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency's (PDEA) Director General Isidro Lapena said in a news conference in Davos City, according to ABS-CBN news.

However, he admitted that there is still much to be done to eradicate illegal drugs from the country.

Lapena said 86,984 drug suspects were arrested in the first 12 months of President Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership while only18,766 suspects were arrested during the same period of the previous administration.

At least 302 government workers with alleged links to drugs were also nabbed during Duterte’s first year, in contrast to only 97 individuals during Corazon Aquino's first year.

The director general also said the current administration was able to seize 2,446 kilograms (5,392 pounds) of methamphetamine hydrochloride compared with only 820 kilograms (1,808 pounds) previously.

Duterte’s administration was able to dismantle nine drug laboratories and 152 suspected drug dens.

Lapena also said that more than 1.3 million drug users and pushers surrendered during the first year of the Duterte administration.

He also revealed that 3,677 of the 20,126 villages affected by narcotics in the Philippines have been cleared. The country has a total of 42,036 villages.

He added the government is taking a holistic approach in dealing with drug problem, noting that programs for rehabilitation and reintegration of drug addicts has been set up.

The administration’s aggressive war on drugs, which resulted in thousands of killings, has earned condemnation from various human rights advocates not only in the country, but also from abroad.

Despite the criticisms on the drug war, police official claim such actions were a necessity.

“What happened was a necessity for the change we’ve been looking for,” police Director General Ronald dela Rosa was quoted as saying by ABS-CBN news Friday.

A lot of kin of victims claim innocence of their slain loved ones; however, police insists the suspects, who were killed resisted arrest and fought with authorities.

Meanwhile, the national police said its data proves the number of crimes decreased by 10 percent during the first year of Duterte as president compared with same period of Aquino’s administration.

According to a report by GMA News, the country’s crime rate during the last quarter of 2016 obtained a new quarterly record low since 1989.

Daily crimes reportedly diminished by 2 percent to 1,552 from 1,578.

Police’s 11-month data from July, 2016, to May 2017 shows that index and non-index crimes decreased by 27 percent and 4 percent, respectively in contrast to previous year.

Index crimes are considered serious crimes including murder, homicide, rape as well as crimes against property such as robbery, burglary and vehicle theft.

Non-index crimes involve violations of special laws such as those on fraud, illegal drugs, sex and gambling offenses or local ordinances.

However, police data showed murder cases up by 31.27 percent from 8,445 cases during the previous year to 11,086 cases in the recent 11-month period, 17 percent of which were drug-related.

Last Mod: 01 Temmuz 2017, 01:00
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