- The PNP and the PDEA released their accomplishment reports on the fight against illegal drugs for January – June 2016
- Duterte’s stance against drugs even when he was still a presidential candidate was cited as a key-influencer in the record-high numbers
- The results led several citizens to compare the achievements of Duterte with that of former President Aquino
After being in office for barely a month, President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration could see the highest number of drug-related arrests this year since 2010 after the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reported a record-high figure of 18,000 arrested suspects from January to June 2016.
In an article written by Elizabeth Marcelo and Jessica Bartolome for GMA News Online on July 24, 2016, it was disclosed that much attention is currently given by the public to the government’s stance against illegal drugs; leading them to compare the achievements of Duterte with that of former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.
Earlier this year, the former mayor of Davao City already made clear his political agenda of addressing the country’s high criminality rates by launching a fight against illegal drugs when he is elected president.
“My God, I hate drugs. And I have to kill people because I hate drugs,” Duterte said during a forum held at De La Salle University-Manila on January 20, 2016.
According to the annual accomplishment reports released by the PNP and the PDEA, only 216 drug-related raids were conducted for the entire year of 2010, while there were already 9,904 raids that were held from January to April this year.
In terms of the financial value of seized drugs and chemicals, the confiscated items amounted to only P946.10 million in 2010, while this year’s values totaled to P1.065 billion just for the first quarter of 2016.
However, Duterte faced criticisms after the PNP was said to have only pursued small-time drug pushers and users; without going after the main sources of the contrabands.
“Where will I get the big fish? These people keep on writing (that only the small-time drug dealers are being arrested). They think they know a lot. They keep on asking why only the small fish are being arrested. Hey, I have to invade a country to arrest the drug lords,” the president said.