Only one small clandestine laboratory used in manufacturing methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu was dismantled in 2019 — a clear indication that the production of the illegal drugs in the country has decreased significantly and the administration is winning its war against illegal drugs.
Another indicator of the success of the Duterte administration’s anti-drugs campaign was the clearing of drug-infested barangays and the relentless operation that resulted in the neutralization of a total of 8,585 high value targets.
During Tuesday’s “Straight Talk with Daily Tribune,” Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Public Information Office chief and spokesman Director Derrick Arnold Carreon stressed that the government is hitting its target in the fight against illegal drugs.
“For 2019, only one small clandestine shabu laboratory was dismantled at the close of the year by the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation). It’s waning,” Carreon said.
He said that shabu smuggled into the country come from international drug rings like the Golden Triangle and the Mexican cartel.
From July 2016 to 31 December 2019, a total of 506 clandestine laboratories have been dismantled and a total of P41.55 billion worth of illegal drugs was seized, bulk of which was shabu.
“We are (on target). It’s a challenge, it’s an uphill battle but with the help of the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government)… and close coordination with local government units,” he added.
Out of the country’s 42,045 barangays, a total of 17,816 have been cleared of illegal drugs since the Duterte administration launched the war.
Carreon is optimistic that PDEA, along with other law enforcement agencies, can free more villages from the influence of illegal drugs.
“That’s a success story because way back when we started, I remember that the number of cleared barangays were a little over 5,000. It’s a good indicator with 16,053 remained to be cleared until 2022,” Carreon said.
Since President Rodrigo Duterte launched the war against illegal drugs, government law enforcers have conducted a total of 153,851 operations, resulting in the arrest of 223,780 individuals.
Carreon clarified that only 5,563 persons were killed during actual operation — far from the 20,000 claimed by critics of Mr. Duterte.