The Philippine National Police conducts anti-illegal drug operations in Zambales, as shown in this file photo.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Eleazar instructed Monday all chiefs of police (COP) to revise their list of priority targets in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to beef up the fight against illegal drugs.

According to Eleazar, the seizure of more than 809 kilograms of shabu worth more than P5.5 billion in Zambales, Bataan, and Cavite operations last week shows that illicit drug syndicates are still active in the country and that they are receiving assistance from drug pushers in the communities.

“Batay na rin sa kautusan ng ating Pangulong Duterte through our Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Eduardo Año, inatasan ko na ang lahat ng chief of police na i-update ang kani-kanilang priority targets lalo na ang mga nagbebenta ng iligal na droga sa kani-kanilang lugar,” said Eleazar.

“The confiscation of more or less 809 kilos of shabu last week is proof that illegal drug syndicates still have a market in the country and that is the reason why we need to further step up our campaign down to the community level, with the distributors or the sellers as the priority targets,” he added.

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The confiscation of shabu in four raids last week was the largest drug haul in the country’s anti-illegal drug campaign this year.

Six major drug traffickers were killed in operations in Zambales, where 500 kilograms of shabu were recovered, and 181 kilograms in Bacoor, Cavite. Xu Youhua, who was a local liaison for an international drug syndicate in the country, and Bashar Bangon, who was a major participant in illicit drug trafficking in Metro Manila and CALABARZON, were among those killed.

Five more big-time drug traffickers were arrested in Bataan and in Imus, Cavite.

Eleazar said that they are currently working with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to get the illegal drugs seized destroyed as soon as possible.

“Hindi nagpahinga ang mga sindikato ng droga kahit sa panahon ng pandemya kaya hinihikayat ko din ang ating mga stakeholders at community partners na tulungan kami sa laban na ito,” said Eleazar in an issued statement by the PNP on September 13.

Police officers engaged in the illegal drug trade
The PNP commander also said that the reinvigorated war against illicit narcotics would be accompanied by increased attempts to track down police officers engaged in the illegal drug trade.

After a police officer assigned in Tarlac City was caught in a buy-bust, Eleazar gave the promise to fire him for being an alleged protector and financier of drug traffickers.

“Sa panig ng PNP, we assure our kababayan that we will not tolerate abuses and wrongdoings in our ranks in our aggressive campaign against illegal drugs just like what we have shown in the last five years when hundreds of our personnel were dismissed from the service for illegal drugs involvement,” Eleazar said.

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