More illegal drugs seized during relaxed Covid alert level- Año

Government anti-narcotics authorities confiscated a total of P424,747,925.6 million worth of illegal drugs from Feb. 27 to March 5, which is far more than their drug haul of P159 million in the previous week.

In a news briefing with the President on Monday night, March 7, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año attributed the increase in confiscated illegal drugs to the public’s greater mobility after Metro Manilla and most parts of the country were placed under Covid Alert Level 1.

“Lalo pa nating paigtingin ang mga (illegal drug) operations para siguradong hindi mapasamantalahan ng illegal drug traders ang ating pagbaba ng (Covid-19) kaso at pagluluwag sa Alert Level 1 (We will further intensify the operation to ensure that the drug dealers do not take advantage of the drop in cases and deescalation to Alert Level 1),’’ Año said.

Within the said period, Año reported that 1,307 drug suspects were nabbed in the 916 operations conducted by the law enforcers.

A total of 76 drug personalities personally surrendered while one death was recorded during the police operations.

The confiscated illegal drugs in the weeklong operation included 7.5 kgs. of shabu, 3,114.2 kgs. of marijuana, one gram of cocaine and 1.2 grams of ecstasy.

On the upside of the more relaxed Alert Level system, Año noted a sharp drop in the nationwide number of granular areas with only 53 local government units (LGUs) having these tight restrictions against Covid-19.

Of these numbers, nine cities/towns consisting of 24 barangays are under granular lockdowns which affected 37 households and 47 individuals with the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) having the highest number with five of its localities and 18 barangays having 37 of their areas under the strict restrictions.

Pertaining to health protocol violations, 33,143 persons were warned, 7,596 were fined, 2,640 were subjected to community service, 10 were brought to inquest proceedings and 1,132 others were arrested and charged for not wearing face masks.

With the relaxed Alert Level system, the DILG noted that the number of mass gathering violators increased by 57.85 percent with 350 persons warned and two others fined.

He noted that 14,800 individuals were cautioned, 393 were fined or cited and 1,306 underwent community service for violating the physical distancing rule with the incidents rising by 29.14 percent with the less restricted Alert Level systems. (Chito A. Chavez)