Iloilo City police ramp up anti-drug operations by over 180%

The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) has dramatically escalated its anti-drug operations in the metropolis, achieving an 181.89 percent increase in actions against illegal narcotics in the current year (CY 2023).

Police Lieutenant Colonel Lindley Barrientos, Deputy City Director for Administration, disclosed these figures at the joint meeting of the Iloilo City Peace and Order Council and Anti-Drug Abuse Council held on February 21. Barrientos highlighted that the ICPO carried out 358 positive operations this year, a substantial rise from the 127 operations conducted in 2022.

The ICPO’s relentless crackdown has led to the arrest of 580 individuals associated with narcotics, resulting in the seizure of 9,619.9743 grams of methamphetamine, commonly known as “shabu.” With the standard street value of the drug pegged at P6,800 per gram, the operations have culminated in the confiscation of illicit substances worth over P65 million and the initiation of 358 legal proceedings.

Despite these strides, a representative from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) disclosed that 86 barangays within Iloilo City have yet to be declared free from illegal drug activities. The sources of these drugs reportedly trace back to the National Capital Region (NCR), Batangas, and Cebu.

Barrientos also reported significant progress in other areas of law enforcement: the ICPO arrested 443 wanted individuals, marking a 40.63 percent increase from the 315 suspects apprehended in 2022.

Additionally, the police conducted 103 anti-illegal gambling operations, leading to the arrest of 395 individuals and the confiscation of P128,866 in bet money, with corresponding cases filed.

The Deputy City Director underscored that the strict and strategic implementation of integrated patrol deployment in priority areas had “effectively addressed the occurrence of crime incidents.”

“The intensified law enforcement operations and the unparalleled support of the local government unit (LGU) and other stakeholders have greatly contributed to enhancing the community’s security and safety,” Barrientos added.

In a nod to the effectiveness of the city’s security measures, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Trenas commended the PNP, Army, and Coast Guard for their efforts, particularly during major events such as the Dinagyang Festival and Chinese New Year celebrations. He expressed optimism for the upcoming Paraw Regatta Festival in March, hoping for the same level of security and public safety.