The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on Friday vowed to run after over 12,000 big-time drug suspects and send them to jail before President Rodrigo Duterte steps down in 2022.
In an interview over Dobol B sa News TV, PDEA director general Aaron Aquino said the government was able to arrest 8,000 high-value targets in the past three years.
But he lamented there were still more than 12,000 others who continued to remain scot-free and to operate.
“Hopefully, we aim to finish them all although despite difficulty in the case build-up and conduct of operations against our high-value targets. But [I believe] there is a way to do so, together with other law enforcement agencies,” he said.
He cited the importance of beefing the capability of surveillance operations and validation.
He maintained his earlier position that several men in uniform, politicians, celebrities, media personalities, lawmakers in Congress, barangay officials have involvement in illegal drug trade.
Only the intelligence units have access to the list of the drug suspects, he said.
As far as the local drug traders are concerned, Aquino said there are 186 of them operating in the country.
Meanwhile, Aquino urged Vice President Leni Robredo to disclose what she found out about the government’s anti-drug campaign.
Robredo said she would reveal her “discoveries” on Monday during her 18-day stint as co-chairperson of the Interagency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs.
“I think what she was referring to as discoveries were those that she mentioned in her letter to the President, wherein she cited her recommendations to improve and strengthen the ICAD,” Aquino said.
“I really do not know if she has all the information about the so-called extrajudicial killings,” he added.