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Sixteen high-value targets (HVTs) in Manila anti-drugs campaign have already been identified, the Manila Police District (MPD) bared yesterday.
Senior Supt. Joel Coronel, MPD director, revealed that these HVTs are public servants from the Manila City Hall, barangay, national government offices based in Manila, and police officers.
“They’re both elected and appointed (officials). Some are drug users, coddlers, traffickers, or protectors, including from the PNP,” Coronel said.
“We have been monitoring them. Once we are done with the validation and it proved positive, we will conduct an operation – either entrapment, arrest or neutralization,” Coronel added.
According to the MPD chief they were able to identify the targets based on the information provided by arrested drug suspects, and those who surrendered.
The information gathered were later backed up by records from MPD’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Division and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
With this development, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada ordered the MPD to hasten the operation against these 16 HVTs to serve as example to other unscrupulous city officials that are into drugs.
“Government officials who are involved in drugs do not deserve any mercy. They’re even worse than the ordinary street pushers because they took an oath to uphold the law and serve the people,” Estrada said in disgust.
Estrada said the city government will provide the police force any assistance so the targets will be put behind bars.
In the past two weeks, 38 drug suspects have been arrested while 200 surrendered in the MPD’s sustained anti-drug and criminality operations, Coronel said. (Betheena Kae Unite)