You would think that given the previous administration’s scorched-earth and take-no-prisoners approach to the problem of illegal drugs, the big-time drug traffickers would have opted to lie low by now.
Or else turn to legitimate businesses that do not invite Special Weapons and Tactics or SWAT teams banging at the doors of their hideouts in the middle of the night.
But no, the big fish in the illegal drugs trade are still at it, showing no fear of God or the law, except that now they wouldn’t be counting wads of cash and thinking of ways to spend the proceeds from the stash.
That’s because the Philippine National Police (PNP) recently seized 990 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine or shabu worth P6.7 billion.
Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. was ecstatic over this development: “This afternoon will be historic in our country; this is probably the biggest drug haul in the history of the Philippines.”
According to the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) the drugs were seized in a buy-bust operation conducted on October 8 in Tondo, Manila.
This resulted in the arrest of a drug suspect. Arresting officers also discovered documents showing that a PDEG operative was in fact an accomplice.
A hot pursuit operation was then conducted the next day that led to the arrest of the police officer in Quiapo, Manila. Two kilos of suspected shabu worth P13.6 million were confiscated during this arrest.
Another suspected accomplice of the group was also nabbed in Rosario, Pasig, along with seven of his cohorts.
PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said the arrest of a police officer for involvement in the drug trade shows that the PNP does not tolerate any wrongdoing by law enforcers: “There will be no let-up. We don’t care who gets caught and who gets hurt. For as long as we get all the evidence against any suspect in any crime, we will pursue them until the end.”
President Bongbong Marcos Jr. had earlier exhorted the PNP to continue the war on drugs begun by the Duterte administration, but with a different target, or approach: the big-time drug traffickers, not the two-bit street dealers or even just drug dependents who should instead be taken into custody for rehabilitation.
The latest drug bust offers ample proof that the PNP is heeding the president’s marching order.
At the same time, the big drug haul after six years of the bloody war on drugs by the Duterte administration underscores the difficulty of completely stopping the drug menace in the country.
What’s clear is that the illegal drug trade will continue for as long as there’s big money—billions of pesos, in fact—to be made from it.
And, of course, if there’s high demand for the addictive drugs from the population, on the one hand, and on the other, law enforcers who would rather profit from it than go after the drug dealers with hammer and tongs.