CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) disclosed over the Christmas Season the arrest of some 17,000 illegal drug dealers across the country last year.
PDEA Director General Arturo Cacdac Jr. said that the arrests conducted by the combined teams from the Philippine National (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies were higher by 4,000 versus that in 2014 with only 13,000 from the period January to December.
Cacdac said the PDEA focuses on high-impact operations and high-value targets (HVTs) including low-level politicians and law enforcers. “We consider them high value targets, these are our priorities.”
Cacdac said there are about 200 HVTs who have been arrested, including elected officials such as barangay captains, councilors and the rest, government employees.
The continued arrests of illegal drug traders are seen to increase this year, with the creation of the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) of the PNP recently, Cacdac added.
"Because we focus on high-impact operation which is our mandate as ordered by no less than the President, we let the PNP and other government law enforcement agencies lead the campaign," he said.
Cacdac said PDEA's main task is to comb the country of clandestine laboratories and interdiction operations or controlled delivery using the airports, seaports and even postal offices.
"We are thankful to our partners especially the chiefs of police who are the vice chairman of the local peace and order council. They address the street level peddling that is why plenty of illegal drugs pushers are arrested,” Cacdac said. (JTD)