Drug war still a big challenge in Metro Manila, 4 other regions — PNP

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MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday the drug war is still a big challenge in five regions in the country, namely Metro Manila, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and Zamboanga Peninsula.

Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, PNP officer-in-charge, said the drug trade is still present “in almost all regions” but added the police are closely monitoring these five regions where large drug seizures are still being recorded.

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“Ito ‘yung mga binabantayan natin, Region 9, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (in Muslim Mindanao), and then Region 7, Region 6 meron pa rin,” he said in a press briefing when asked where enforcing the Duterte administration’s drug war is still a huge challenge.

Asked about the situation of the drug trade in Metro Manila, Gamboa said: “Hindi pa okay kasi hindi pa sila nauubos. Ubusin muna natin (It’s not yet okay because illegal drugs are still there. We will eradicate drugs there first).”

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He added that some of the drugs circulating in the country are coming from parts of Mindanao.

According to Gamboa, he ordered all regional directors to submit the names of the top 10 to top 20 drug suspects in their jurisdictions so that they can identify who to prioritize in anti-drug stings.

“There is a continuing appreciation of the drug problem at the regional level and down,” he said.

He also said that this year, the PNP will intensify operations against middle-level and high-value drug targets.

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