21,891 barangays declared drug-free

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — More than half of the 42,000 barangays in the country have been cleared of illegal drugs.

During a pre-State of the Nation Address briefing yesterday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said a total of 21,891 barangays were declared drug-free.

Año said 99.69 percent or 41,950 barangays have activated their drug abuse advisory councils.

“The government has institutionalized our campaign against illegal drugs even amid the pandemic. The war against illegal drugs never stops,” he said.

Despite criticisms over the drug war that left thousands of suspects dead in the past five years of the Duterte administration, Año cited the accomplishments of the campaign.

He said an estimated 1.3 million drug suspects have surrendered while 289,000 others have been arrested since Duterte assumed office.

Año said the value of illegal drugs, including shabu, cocaine, marijuana and other substances confiscated in anti-narcotics operations was estimated at P59.14 billion.

The drug war is one of the mechanisms that established peace and order in the country, he added.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said the crime volume in the country dropped by 64 percent from July 2016 to June this year.

The PNP said 395,920 index crimes were documented compared to 1,113,712 during the administration of the late president Benigno Aquino III.

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