Albayalde: country’s drug problems far from over

By Inquirer.net |May 31,2018 - 08:44 PM

Two years into President Rodrigo Duterte’s term, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has yet to get rid of more than half of the illegal drug problem in the country, PNP chief Dir. Gen. Oscar D. Albayalde said Thursday.

Albayalde estimated that the police have yet to reach 50 percent in eradicating the drug problem as shown by the continuous street-level drug trafficking, buy-busts, arrests, and crimes.

“Baka wala pa tayo sa 50 percent sa problema natin sa illegal drugs. Despite sa ating operations napakarami pa rin nating nahuhuli at meron pa rin tayong incidents of robbery lalong lalo na ‘yung akyat bahay,” Albayalde said in a forum at Club Filipino in San Juan City.

(Maybe we have not yet reached 50 percent in getting rid of our problem in illegal drugs. Despite our operations, we still catch offenders and we still record incidents of robbery, especially burglary.)

“That is just my personal perception. The way I see it kasi (because) in spite of our accomplishments still araw-araw pa rin naaresto natin, naengkwentro (there are arrests, encounters every day),” he added in a chance interview after the forum.

Since the government waged its deadly campaign against illegal drugs in 2016, thousands of mostly poor Filipinos have been killed in police operations and vigilante-style killings.

According to #RealNumbers data by the PNP and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, 4,279 drug suspects have been killed in police operations from July 1, 2016, to May 15, 2018.

During the campaign, then-candidate Duterte has vowed to resign if he was unable to eradicate the scourge of illegal drugs in the country in three to six months. He later admitted months after assuming into office he was wrong on the deadline and asked another year to end the drug menace.

But despite the much work to be done, Albayalde was confident the PNP would significantly get rid of the drug problem in the country under Duterte.

“I think so. With what we are doing now, siguro when it comes to pushing probably may ilang konti-konti, ‘yung paggamit baka may konti kasi remember ’yung supply dito baka meron na nakaipon dito,” he said.

(Maybe when it comes to pushing and using there will be some cases, because some of the supply may have been kept in an area.)
The police chief also said more people now think they are safer than before, as reflected in a recent Social Weather Stations survey and proven by the drop in the crime index.

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