By Martin Sadongdong
After almost three years of the intense campaign against illegal drugs, a total of 6,600 suspects were killed, 240,565 were arrested while 1,283,409 others surrendered to authorities as the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday maintained there is more work that needs to be done to finally free the Philippines from the menace of drugs.
Police General Oscar Albayalde, PNP Chief, led a command conference at Camp Crame where the latest updates on the drug war was presented. The data covers the period from July 1, 2016 to May 31, 2019.
Aside from the mentioned data, it was revealed that 12,177 of the total 42,045 barangays or villages across the country have already been declared drug-free.
About 282 barangays were still seriously affected by the drug menace; 10,835 are moderately affected; while 9,354 are slightly affected, resulting to a 48.69-percent drug affectation.
Majority of the drug-affected barangays are in Bicol Region (Region 5) with 2,530 villages still infested by the scourge of illegal drugs.
It was followed by Central Luzon (Region 3) with 2,342 barangays; Central Visayas (Region 7) with 2,293; Calabarzon (Region 4A) with 1,758; and Western Visayas (Region 6) with 1,717.
In Metro Manila, 1,515 barangays remain affected by the illegal drugs, the data showed.
Meanwhile, as of the first quarter of the year, authorities have already seized P32.42 billion worth of illegal drugs and laboratory equipment, according to a separate data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Police Colonel Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, called on the public’s help in eradicating, if not totally eliminating the menace of illegal drugs in the country.
“We are on track to significantly reduce, if not totally eliminate illegal drugs in the country. But more work needs to be done,” he told the Manila Bulletin.
“The law enforcement, PNP or PDEA, cannot do it alone. We need the whole nation to work together and fight this menace,” he added.
The PNP spokesperson noted the importance of a united family “so that children will be protected and taught well” to avoid illegal drugs.
“We need schools and churches to impart knowledge and instill values. We need the local governments and barangays to synchronize and synergize all our drug prevention acts together. We need the media to help us inform the public,” he concluded.