PHILIPPINE Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said in a report that around P6.85 billion of illegal drugs and 775 drug cases were filed by the agency in its eight-year existence in the Cordillera.

The agency conducted 523 anti-narcotic operations together with the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, security guards, barangay tanods, and other agencies since its establishment in Baguio City.

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In a recent report furnished to Sun.Star Baguio, the anti-narcotics agency reported around 48 percent of these operations were buy-busts that led to the arrest of 571 drug violators and the filing of 775 drug cases in the various prosecutor offices and courts.

Based on PDEA's records, 2009 turned out the most fruitful with 110 apprehensions of drug pushers, yielding P834,426,392.50 worth of marijuana and shabu.

PDEA-Cordillera Drug Case Monitoring Officers also reported that most of the number of filed cases was in 2004, when 15.2 percent of the eight-year total of drug cases was filed.

However, the highest conviction rate for drug cases in the region was recorded in 2005 at 22 percent.

From January 1, 2002 to July 31, 111 drug cases had been decided with guilty verdicts, while 200 hundred were dismissed.

The group added around 203 cases led to acquittals and the remaining 293 are still pending in the courts.

Meanwhile, of the 571 drug law violators nabbed in the region over the past eight years, 50 are members of local drug groups.

Seven foreign drug pushers were also apprehended by the agency in its eight-year existence in the Cordillera.

Around 41 target list of drug personalities, 77 drug pushers in the watchlist, eight in the wanted list were also apprehended by the group.

Of the arrested drug pushers, 455 are men and 89 are women above 18 years old, while 21 are male minors and six were female minors.

Around 80 percent of the total numbers of persons arrested were pushers, or those violating Section 5 for Sale of Dangerous Drugs of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Furthermore, 85 assorted weapons, 82 communication equipment and 17 vehicles had been seized as non-drug evidence.

The bulk of the dangerous drug yield was in the form of marijuana bricks with an overall volume of 111,695 kilos valued at P2,792,382,788.

The PDEA regional offices were created pursuant to PDEA Agency Memorandum Circular Number 2002-001 dated August 5, 2002, with responsibility of implementing the provisions of Republic Act 9165 and its implementing rules and regulations, as well as the policies and programs of the agency in its respective regional jurisdiction. (JM Agreda)