PHILIPPINES — Before January ended, President Rodrigo Duterte suspended all anti-illegal drugs operations of the Philippine National Police.
This, after the involvement of several police officers in the kidnapping and slaying of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo inside the PNP Headquarters.
However, just a few weeks after the suspension of the PNP’s war on drugs, several drug dependents have returned to their operations.
Quezon City Police District Director Guillermo Eleazar said, based on their monitoring, drug pushers and users have gone back to the streets to sell and buy illegal drugs such as ‘shabu’.
“All the indications are there. Actually, reports from the villages. We received reports that drug use has really returned as well as the drug trade because they know that we are prevented now from engaging in planned police operations,” he said.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said the most common illegal substance used by Filipino drug dependents is shabu or methamphetamine.
On the other hand, a drug user admitted that despite the impact of the Duterte administration’s anti-drug campaign on their operations, many of them are still able to do continue their illegal activities.
“There was (an impact) of course. There were killings, so we had to be extra careful. You have to move quietly. Be really careful,” he said.
Although the PNP anti-illegal drugs operations are suspended, the PDEA assures that the agency will intensify even more its operations against illegal drugs in coordination with the military.
According to PDEA Director General for Administration Jesus Fajardo, the current administration’s campaign against illegal drugs remains effective.
In fact, the cost of shabu in the past months has increased based on their investigation.
“Before, meth cost P3,500 per gram. But after the war on drugs it’s now P7,000 per gram. That means, this indicates that the drug supply is running dry,” said Asec. Fajardo.
“As for the demand reduction, like someone said, it is a holistic approach because if the supply dropped, we lessen the demand for drug users.”
The PDEA once again calls on the public, particularly barangay officials, to immediately report to the agency information related to any illegal drugs operations in their areas. — Leslie Longboen | UNTV News and Rescue