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Significant anti-drug accomplishments posted during first month of Duterte’s timeline

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The collaborative efforts of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and other law enforcement agencies (OLEAs) is paying early dividends for the national anti-drug campaign as significant accomplishments were recorded during the first month of the three-to-six- month’s timeline set by President Rodrigo Duterte to rid the country of illegal drugs.
As the lead agency against illegal drugs, PDEA initiated the conduct of 123 anti-drug operations from July 1 to 31, 2016, with the support of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other law enforcement agencies, resulting in the arrest of 215 drug personalities and the seizure of dangerous drugs and controlled precursors and essential chemicals (CPECs) worth P2,594,006,920.00. “The P2.5 billion seizure of illegal drugs was achieved only in a month’s time, compared to the total estimated value of P2.86 billion confiscated the entire year of 2015,” said PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña.
Out of the seized drug evidence, 180 kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, with an estimated market value of P900 million, were dug up by joint operatives of the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG), PDEA Regional Office 02 (PDEA RO2), Bureau of Customs (BOC), and local police in Barangay Culao, Claveria, Cagayan. For the period, two clandestine laboratories used in the manufacture of shabu, and one storage facility were dismantled.
On July 5, 2016, joint elements of PDEA Regional Office-National Capital Region (PDEA RO-NCR), PDEA Intelligence and Investigation Service (PDEA-IIS), Las Piñas City Police Station and the PNP Southern Police District arrested two Taiwanese nationals during a raid in Philamlife Village, Pamplona Dos, Las Piñas City that led to the dismantling of a clandestine shabu laboratory.
The same day, the same operating units dismantled a warehouse used as a storage facility in Executive Villagers Society, Phase 5, Parañaque City. One Taiwanese national was arrested as a result of the operation.
On July 11, 2016, a sea vessel utilized as a shabu laboratory was ran aground by combined elements of PDEA Regional Office 3 (PDEA RO3), local police, the Bureau of Customs (BoC), Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Immigration in Barangay Calapandayan, Subic, Zambales. The operation also led to the arrest of four Chinese nationals. “In addition, the period saw the neutralization of Meco Tan, a big-time drug lord during the implementation of lawful search in a compound in Pinagbayanan Street, Barangay Lingunan, Valenzuela City on July 22, 2016,” Lapeña added.
On July 23, 2016, combined operatives of the PDEA Regional Office 10 (PDEA RO10) and local police conducted two authorized searches in Cagayan de Oro City which resulted in the arrest of Johaira Macabuat, alias Mayora Marimar, a former mayor of Maguing, Lanao del Sur, and her husband Major Suharto Macabuat who is an army major, together with eight others.
“The timeline has been set and the targets have been identified. PDEA and other partner agencies are working diligently to address the self-imposed obligations made by President Duterte to the Filipino people,” the PDEA chief said.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.