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Palace says 4,295 barangays drug-free

By ROY MABASA

In the latest official figures related to the country’s war against illegal drugs, Malacañang on Tuesday said a total of 4,295 barangays all over the country were already declared drug-free.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the latest numbers from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Administration (PDEA) that covers the period from July 2016 to Nov. 10, 2017, also showed a total of 117,268 drug personalities arrested out of 78,619 anti-drug operations conducted.

In addition, Roque said a total of 2,525.77 kilos of ‘shabu’ (metamphetamine hydrochloride) valued at R18.9 billion have been seized in the same period.

The figures released by Malacanang, however, did not mention the number of those who were killed in the controversial war on drugs campaign of the Duterte administration.

This development also came on the heels of an ongoing oral argument before the Supreme Court following petitions challenging the legality of the government’s crackdown on illegal drugs that resulted to the death of thousands of alleged drug users and peddlers.

The consolidated petition were filed by the relatives of alleged victims of the war on drugs thru the representations of different human rights advocacy groups who are providing legal assistance.

After earning international condemnation, President Duterte removed the anti-illegal drug campaign from the Philippine National Police and handed it over to the sole responsibility of the PDEA under its new chief, Director-General Aaron Aquino.

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