MANILA, Philippines — The number of illegal drug users ballooned during the period when the Philippine National Police (PNP) was not part of the war on drugs campaign of the government.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Police Director Oscar Albayalde said illegal users had more courage to return to their vice within the two months the PNP has no anti-drug operations.
“Maraming barangay officials na nagsabi na harap-harapan pa sa kanila nagtatarya sila at tapos sasabihin nila, hindi naman kami pwedeng hulihin ng pulis ngayon,” said Albayalde.
(Many barangay officials say illegal drug would conduct a pot session in front of them saying they could not be arrested by policemen.)
Now that the PNP is back to the war on drugs scene, Albayalde vowed to intensify the NCRPO’s anti-illegal drug campaign this year.
According to the general, the Oplan Tokhang and the Oplan Double Barrel of the PNP are effective in resolving the problem in illegal drug use and trading.
“Those millions of people would not have surrendered, and those thousands more would not have been arrested if this campaign is not effective,” said the NCRPO chief.
Proof of this, said the chief of the Metro Manila police, is the lower number of crimes related to illicit drugs in 2017.
He said that illegal drug-related crimes were lower by 18 percent in 2017 compared to the recorded number in 2016.
“The continuous decrease of these eight focused crimes is attributed to the NCRPO’s intensified implementation of Project Double Barrel Alpha, Project Double Barrel Reloaded and the intensified implementation of our enhanced managing police operations,” said the police chief.
Albayalde said the NCRPO will conduct more anti-drug operations this year.
He noted that the police will visit individuals, whose names are on the drug watch list, and will ask them to stop their illegal activity.
The NCRPO chief clarified that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will still focus on high-value targets, while the PNP will go after drug suspects in communities.
The NCRPO has yet to set a date on when its campaign against illegal drugs will begin. — Rajel Adora | UNTV News & Rescue