What low morale? PNP says it seized P70M worth of illegal drugs, arrests over 2,000 in just 2 weeks

Anti-narcotics operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) seized more than P70 million worth of illegal drugs and arrested over 2,000 people in the first two weeks of this year, national police chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr. disclosed on Monday, Jan. 16.

In a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City, Azurin said the accomplishments on illegal drugs in the first 14 days of 2023 only disproved speculations that the call for all the 953 third level officers of the PNP to resign does not affect the morale of the police organization.

"With the call of our Secretary (Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos) for courtesy resignation, the question is if it affects the morale of our men. It doesn't show because in 14 days, we were able to arrest more than 2,000 involved in illegal drug activities," said Azurin.

"So we expect that our men on the ground will continue to focus on their work," he added.

Azurin also expressed confidence that more people will trust the PNP in the campaign against illegal drugs once the processing of courtesy resignation is done.

He said that the courtesy resignation for all third level officers, or from full colonels to generals, is proof that the PNP is serious in its internal cleansing objective.

"In the near future, we expect it will be a better performance for the PNP. Once the officers are cleared (of suspicion of illegal drugs involvement), they will have moral ascendancy in this campaign and I believe that they themselves will not allow that they would be dragged again into this controversy," said Azurin.

Based on the PNP data, it also revealed that as of Jan. 12 this year, a total of 26,883 barangays across the country have been cleared of illegal drugs under the Barangay Drug Clearing Program's whole-of-nation approach.

"This translates to 75.97 percent of the total of 35,385 barangays that were previously tagged as drug-affected. I commend the collective efforts of government agencies, especially those who work to attain this notable achievement," said Azurin.