A total of 3,476 anti-drug operations conducted, 1,321 drug personalities arrested, P228.81 million worth of drug and non-drug evidence confiscated, and 2,063 drug cases filed were recorded by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) from September 12, 2017 to December 20, 2017 — the first 100 days of Aaron N. Aquino as PDEA Director General.

Aquino formally assumed the PDEA leadership on September 12, 2017 from outgoing Director General and new Commissioner of Bureau of Customs Isidro S. Lapeña.

During the period, PDEA confiscated 36,705.61 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride, popularly known as shabu, 16,629.46 grams of dried marijuana leaves, 4,343 marijuana seedlings, 50,000 grams of marijuana stalks, 1,183.46 grams of cocaine, 54 pieces of ecstasy, and 1.10 of GHB.

When PDEA was the sole agency to conduct anti-drug operations from October 11, 2017 to December 5, 2017, the agency conducted a total of 2,214 anti-drug operations which resulted in the arrest of 771 drug personalities, confiscation of P176.83 million of drug and non-drug evidence and filing of 1,448 drug cases.

Seized drugs during the period were: 26,479.31 grams of shabu; 11,724.47 grams of dried marijuana leaves; 117,835 marijuana plants; 4,343 marijuana seedlings; 50,000 grams of marijuana stalks, 1,183.46 grams of cocaine, 54 pieces of ecstasy; and 1.10 ml of GHB

High-Value Targets (HVTs)

In the first 100 days of Director General Aquino, the conduct of high-value target operations and high-impact operations were intensified.

During the period, 331 high-value targets (HVTs) were arrested, including 6 foreign nationals, 15 elected officials, 7 uniformed personnel, 21 government employees, 52 drug group members, 3 armed group members, 19 listed personalities, 24 drug den maintainers, and 184 other HVTs.

The highest ranking elected official arrested was the municipal mayor of Maasim, Saranggani Province during the implementation of a search warrant on October 6, 2017 that resulted in the seizure of one kilo of shabu.

Another arrested HVT is a celebrity who yielded 20 grams of shabu during a buy-bust operation at BF Homes, Parañaque City.

On November 6, 2017, a search operation was conducted at the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City which resulted in the confiscation of 183 grams of shabu, drug paraphernalia and other contrabands from the detention cell of Yu Yuk Lai, a convicted drug queen. On same day, a search warrant was implemented against Diana Yu, daughter of Yu Yuk Lai at her residence in Solano Street, San Miguel, Manila. Confiscated from here were 682.92 kilos of shabu.

Two Nigerian nationals who are members of African Drug Syndicates (ADs) were arrested on November 8, 2017 during the conduct of a buy-bust operation in Kawit, Cavite that resulted in the confiscation of one kilo of shabu.

A drug mule of Colombian nationality was arrested by Ninoy Aquino International Ariport-Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADITG) on November 12, 2017 during an interdiction operation at NAIA. Alberto Pedroza Quijano attempted to smuggle drugs by swallowing 79 pellets of cocaine with a total weight of 1.1 kilo.

Eleven drug personalities were arrested during a buy-bust operation conducted in Seda Hotel, Bonifacio Global City on November 26, 2017 that resulted in the confiscation of 20 tablets of ecstasy. One of the arrested was a student.

High-Impact Operations (HIOs)

During the period, 30 High-Impact Operations (HIOs), including 10 high-volume seizures, four marijuana eradication, eight dismantling of drug dens, three mail and interdiction operations, one airport interdiction operation and four other HIOs, were conducted by PDEA and other law enforcement agencies (OLEAs).

On December 19, 2017, a recovery operation was conducted at the house of Yiye Chen, a drug personality arrested in August 2016, in Angeles City, Pampanga. Recovered were five kilos of shabu worth P30 million.

From November 29, 2017 to December 4, 2017, three separate parcels containing a total of 13.5 kilos of shabu were discovered by NAIA-IADITG using PDEA-trained K9s. Two of the parcels came from a sender with address in California, USA, while the other had a sender’s address in Congo.

To deter cultivation of marijuana, PDEA conducts marijuana eradication. On November 20, 2017, a marijuana eradication operation was conducted in Sugpon, Ilocos Sur and Kibungan, Benguet which resulted in the uprooting of 50 kilos of marijuana stalks.

Barangay Clearing Efforts

Through the implementation of the Barangay Drug Clearing Program, a total of 547 barangays nationwide were declared drug-free from September 12, 2017 to December 20, 2017.

Notable is the declaration of drug-cleared status of the Province of Romblon on November 13, 2017 after having met the requirements set forth by the Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. 3, Series of 2017. Romblon is the second province after the Province of Batanes declared drug-free.

On December 4, 2017, the City of Tacloban was also declared drug-free after having met the DDB requirements.

The Barangay Drug Clearing Program is being implemented by the government to clear drug-affected barangays in the country through the cooperation of PDEA, PNP, Local Government Units and other involved agencies.

Destruction of Dangerous Drugs

During the 100 days of Director General Aaron N. Aquino, P6 billion worth of dangerous drug including 873.03 kilos of shabu were destroyed on November 10, 2017 at the Integrated Waste Management Inc. in Trece Martirez City, Cavite. On October 12, 2017, P10 million worth of precursors and chemicals were destroyed at Green Planet Management, Inc. in Valenzuela City.

Demand Reduction Efforts

Part of the agency’s campaign to address the drug menace is the conduct of demand reduction activities to keep the citizens away from illegal drugs. From September 12, 2017 to December 20, 2017, more than 4 million Filipinos were reached by the preventive education and community involvement, and multi-media activities of the agency.

Operation ‘Private Eye’

To encourage the public to report drug-related information to authorities, monetary reward is given for every successful information through Operation ‘Private Eye’. On December 20, 2017, four informants were awarded a total of P4,834,433.12.

Regulatory Efforts

From September 12, to December 20, 2017, PDEA issued a total of 7,912 permits and 2,833 licenses to practitioners involved in handling and administration of dangerous drugs.

Partnership with Government and Non-Government Organizations

During the period, PDEA under Director General Aaron N. Aquino signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mayor Arthur Robes of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan for the donation of 1,000 square meters of land to be utilized by the agency.

On December 19, 2017, PDEA renewed its partnership with the Philippine-Chinese Charitable Association, Inc. through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which covers the medical aid and treatment of PDEA personnel nationwide who sustained injuries in line of duty.

Cooperation with Local and ForeignCounterparts

Strengthening cooperation with local and foreign counterparts is one of the major strategies of PDEA to enhance its capabilities in addressing the drug problem.

On November 14, 2017, PDEA inked agreement with Bureau of Corrections to curb incidence of illegal drug activities within the government facilities and penal farms. With the agreement, PDEA is now maintaining a 24-hour visibility in BuCor’s jails and is now regularly conducting search and operations inside jails.

On the same day, a MOA with Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) was signed to intensify drug-clearing operations in all city and municipal jails in the country.

To strengthen partnership with international counterparts, PDEA participated in 16 international trainings, workshops, meetings and conferences, and 11 local meetings on international cooperation.

An MOU with the Royal Thai Police was signed on September 20, 2017 to collaboratively combat transnational crime related to illicit drug trafficking.

On October 5, 2017, a turn-over and inauguration ceremony of classroom constructed by the US at the PDEA Academy was held.

Way Forward

Director General Aaron Aquino has pipelined the following priority plans and programs:

· Recruitment of at least 500 Drug Enforcement Officers (DEOs) yearly;

· Creation of 81 Provincial Offices and 5 District Offices to increase the Agency’s visibility at the grassroots level;

· Procurement of additional firepower, mobility and communication equipment;

· Further strengthening of partnerships with local and international counterparts;

· Close coordination with Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for joint operations in Philippine high-seas to prevent shipside smuggling;

· Establishment of PDEA offices in 13 major seaports in the country to provide visibility and immediate response to anti-drug operations;

· Creation of airport inter-agency drug interdiction task groups at international airports;

· Increase of K9 dogs for deployment to different vulnerable ports in the country;

· Strengthening financial investigation to freeze assets of drug lords and financiers;

· Active conduct of advocacy campaign;

· Reformation of voluntary drug surrenderers by establishing Balay Silangan, a reformation center that will provide them with livelihood and training, after care, community/social reintegration programs. The program will be implemented in coordination with government and non-government organizations.