Government anti-narcotics authorities confiscated a total of 424,747,925.6 million pesos of illegal drugs from February 27 to March 5, which is far more than their drug trafficking of 159 million pesos the previous week.
During a press conference with the President on Monday evening March 7, the Secretary of the Ministry of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Eduardo Año, attributed the increase in illegal drugs confiscated to the greater mobility of the public after Metro Manila and most parts of the country were placed. under Covid Alert Level 1.
“Lalo pa nating paigtingin ang mga (illegal drug) operations para siguradong hindi mapasamantalahan ng illegal drug dealers ang ating (Covid-19) kaso at pagluluwag sa Alert Level 1 (We will further intensify the operation to ensure that drug dealers do not not taking advantage of the drop in cases and the de-escalation to alert level 1),” Año said.
During this period, Año reported that 1,307 drug suspects were apprehended in the 916 operations carried out by law enforcement.
A total of 76 drug figures personally surrendered while one death was recorded during police operations.
Illegal drugs confiscated during the week-long operation included 7.5 kg. of shabu, 3,114.2 kg. of marijuana, one gram of cocaine and 1.2 grams of ecstasy.
On the positive side of the more relaxed alert level system, Año noted a sharp drop in the national number of granular zones with only 53 local government units (LGUs) having these strict restrictions against Covid-19.
Of these figures, nine towns/villages made up of 24 barangays are under granular lockdowns which have affected 37 households and 47 individuals, with the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) having the highest number with five of its localities and 18 barangays having 37 of their areas under strict restrictions.
Regarding violations of the health protocol, 33,143 people were warned, 7,596 were fined, 2,640 were subjected to community service, 10 were indicted and 1,132 others were arrested and charged for not wearing a mask.
With the alert level system relaxed, the DILG noted that the number of violators of mass gatherings had increased by 57.85% with 350 people warned and two others fined.
He noted that 14,800 people were warned, 393 were fined or cited and 1,306 received community service for breaking the physical distancing rule, with incidents increasing by 29.14% with less restricted alert level systems. (Chito A. Chavez)
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