More than 12,000 PH barangays yet to be cleared from drug influence

Published December 9, 2021, 10:34 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

More than 12,000 barangays in the country are still infested with illegal drugs despite the aggressive anti-drugs operations that already resulted in the death of a total of 6,215 drug personalities and the arrest of more than 315,000 since July 2016.

Based on the Real Numbers published by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), a total of 23,270 were already cleared of illegal drugs influence as of October this year 12,125 remain infested. There are a total of 42,045 barangays in the country.

A barangay is declared free from illegal drug activities if the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) was able to validate the non-availability of drug supply, the absence of drug transit activity, clandestine drug laboratory and chemical warehouse, marijuana cultivation site, drug den, drug pushers and users in the area.

PDEA spokesperson Derick Carreon, however, said that the government’s campaign against illegal drugs is ongoing.

He said part of the strategy is the activation of Barangay Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs), which is said to be crucial in the success of the implementation of the campaign.

President Duterte launched the drug war in July 2016 and since then more than one million already surrendered while a total of 315,635 have been arrested.

Those arrested include a total of 13,821 high-value targets (HVTs) which include 6,061 HVTs arrested from high impact operations; 3,785 target-listed suspects; 1,422 drug den maintainers; 795 drug group leaders/members; 509 government employees; 393 elected officials; 349 foreigners; 284 included on wanted lists; 124 uniformed personnel; 75 armed group members; and 24 prominent personalities.

Those arrested also include a total of 4,033 minors who were being exploited to sell illegal drugs or hooked to various illegal drugs.