MANILA, Philippines — Law enforcement agents arrested of total 75,008 persons in 38,830 anti-narcotics operations last year, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said Tuesday, January 16.
PDEA director general Aaron Aquino said in a statement that 301 of the suspects nabbed last year were government personnel — 129 elected officials, 27 uniformed personnel and 145 government employees.
The figures represented an increase not only in the number of operations — up by 14 percent – and arrests — a rise of 167.35 percent from 2016’s 28,056 — but also the largest haul in the steadily growing number of government personnel arrested for drugs over the last six years: 29 in 2011, 65 in 2012, 138 in 2013, 190 in 2014, 201 in 2015, 231 in 2016, 301 in 2017, for a total of 1,155.
Government personnel convicted of drug offenses face not only the maximum penalty under he law but also perpetual disqualification from public office and the forfeiture of benefits due them.
Aquino said the “significant increase in the arrest of government workers means that authorities are hot on their trails. We must restore trust and confidence of the people in the capacities of their government. In this way, we can achieve real success in the national anti-drug campaign.”