Three Taiwanese arrested in drug raids in the Philippines

Manila, July 6 (CNA) Three Taiwanese were arrested in two separate drug raids in the Philippines on Tuesday in the latest crackdown on drugs in the Southeast Asian country.

One group of drug enforcement authorities arrested two of the Taiwanese suspects in a house that had been turned into a drug laboratory in the City of Las Piñas and seized 60 kilograms of crystal meth. The same day, another group of authorities arrested the third Taiwanese national who was allegedly manufacturing drugs in a villa in Parañaque City.

The raids were part of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency's "Oplan Firstblood" operation targeting illegal drug activities. The agency said it has been monitoring the three suspects for around a month. Officials from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines said they are still in the process of confirming the identity of the three Taiwanese suspects at the moment.

On June 14, two Taiwanese men, aged 33 and 25, respectively, were arrested in a vehicle in Parañaque and were found in possession of 39 kilograms of methamphetamine. The raids came as the Philippines' new president, Rodrigo Duterte, vowed to crackdown on crime and corruption in his country.

Since Duterte was sworn in as president last Thursday, 30 "drug dealers" have been killed, Philippine police said on Monday.

(By Emerson Lim and Christie Chen)