By Macon Ramos-Araneta, Joel Zurbano | Manila Standard Today
Amid the rash of drug-related crimes, Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday called on the government to ramp up the campaign against illegal drugs which topped the worries of the people.
Marcos said a recent survey showed that the problem of illegal drugs and criminality ranking first and fifth respectively among the concerns of ordinary people and survey findings were made evident by the arrest of 97 people in Metro Manila within five months after police renewed the crackdown on illegal drug-dealing trade.
“Too often many of these crimes turn out to be drug-related,” the vice presidential candidate added.
Marcos said that according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency more than 20 percent of the 42,029 total barangays nationwide had drug-related cases last year, with the National Capital Region having the highest rate of drug-affected barangays at 92 percent.
Likewise, Marcos said that the crime rate rose by more than three times from 2010 to 2014 based on the annual reports of the Philippine Statistics Authority. Total crimes in 2014 reached 1.16-million cases compared to 324,083 cases in 2010, the PSA said.
“Last August the Philippine National Police reported that the number of crimes have gone up by almost 50 percent in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, or a total crime volume of 888,445 compared to 603,085 cases for the same period last year.”
“The PNP later claimed there was actually a 15-percent reduction in the crime rate for the period as only 509,924 cases were verified as valid.”
“No matter what the correct figure is, it is undeniable that incidences of crime remain high,” Marcos asserted.
On the drug problem, Marcos said law enforcement authorities must set their sights on big-time drug syndicates and drug lords.
“But, we also have to increase the capability of our law enforcers. We have to support them with training, with facilities, and with funding,” Marcos recommended.
In Metro Manila, the National Capital Region Police Office personnel seized more than 25 kilos of methamphetamine hydro-chloride, locally known as shabu, worth P123 million, and assorted drug paraphernalia.
“Our campaign is in line with the directives and program of the Chief PNP, Director Ricardo Marquez to focus on crime fighting operations particularly Oplan Lambat Sibat and campaign against illegal drugs,” said NCRPO chief Joel Pagdilao.
Pagdilao said the crackdown, which began last July, came in close coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. He said aside from drugs, his men also confiscated three vehicles during one of their operations and charged the suspects with violation of the Dangerous Drug Act.
Pagdilao commended his men assigned to the Regional Anti-Drugs Division for the accomplishments. He also ordered the RAID commander Chief Insp. Roberto Razon to continue their campaign against illegal drugs, especially this Yuletide season
IN a related move, the PDEA destroyed P354.87 million worth of dangerous drugs in Cavite.
PDEA Director General Undersecretary Arturo G. Cacdac Jr. said the drugs destroyed included 92,059.1130 grams (92.059 kilograms) of assorted pieces of drug evidence composed of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, cocaine, marijuana, ephedrine, ecstasy, methylphenidate hydrochloride or ritalin, dormicum or midazolam, rivotril or clonazepam, lorazepam or ativan, alprazolam or aloram, diazepam or valium and expired medicines.
Based on the consolidated report of the PDEA Laboratory Service, among those destroyed were 57,454.75 grams of shabu worth P333,237,550; 5,177.90 grams of cocaine worth P23,300,550; and 1,977.86 grams of marijuana worth P98,893 and other dangerous drugs.
“These were part of the illegal drugs that were seized during operations conducted by PDEA combined with those turned over by other law enforcement agencies that were no longer needed as evidence in court,” Cacdac said.
The illegal drugs were destroyed at the Integrated Waste Management Inc. in Barangay Aguado, Trece Martirez City, Cavite.