PNP: Drug supply down by 90%

PNP: Drug supply down by 90%

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa vowed yesterday to rid the Philippines of illegal drugs.Speaking at the inauguration of a drug rehabilitation facility in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Dela Rosa said drug supply in the country fell by 80 to 90 percent last September, just two months into the Duterte administration.

“We will try our best to reduce the supply of drugs. We will kill all drug lords,” Dela Rosa proclaimed, pausing for a few seconds before adding, “if they fight,” noting media presence in the event and eliciting laughter from the audience.

According to Dela Rosa, shabu is now hard to find, unlike before, when drugs were being sold like candies.

“The prices of drugs now are expensive. It’s dangerous for drug traffickers to sell drugs now,” he said.

Last Friday, the PNP reported that 95,000 sachets of shabu and 113,000 sachets of marijuana worth P3.7 billion were seized in various police operations from Jul. 1, 2016 to Jan. 12, 2017.

“This is the result of the unrelenting dedication and support of the PNP to the flagship program of President Duterte, embedded in the nationwide anti-illegal drugs campaign Oplan Double Barrel,” PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said in a statement.

“We are posting tremendous gains and slowly but surely winning the streets from the illegal drug menace, while removing the fear of crime and violence in the hearts of our countrymen,” Carlos said.

In its latest report on Project Double Barrel Alpha, a total of 2,239 suspected drug personalities have been killed in 41,676 operations nationwide since July last year.

The police have arrested 45,195 drug suspects, while 1,025,473 have surrendered to authorities.

Dela Rosa was the guest speaker at the inauguration of the Dangal ng Pagbabago rehabilitation center built by the local government of Sta. Rosa. With 25 staff members, the center will care for over 200 drug dependents.

Dela Rosa urged the drug dependents to grab the opportunity to undergo rehabilitation and reform.

“To those who have surrendered, avail of this opportunity. Exploit the situation,” he said.

Sta. Rosa Mayor Dan Fernandez posted excerpts of Dela Rosa’s speech on his Facebook page.

Narco cop killed

A former police officer included in President Duterte’s first list of rogue policemen involved in narcotics was gunned down by motorcycle riding assailants in front of a gambling joint in Tuguegarao City in Cagayan around noon yesterday.

Initial reports received by Tuguegarao City chief of police Supt. Virgilio Con Abillera said ex-PO2 Geraldine Bautista, 43, male, came out of the E-Bingo station in Barangay Don Domingo and was about to start his motorcycle when the assailants opened fire, then fled.

Records from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) showed Bautista was a resident of Barangay Tanza in Cavite and was caught in a drug sting and jailed in 2012. But he was later freed after his case was dismissed.

His name resurfaced last year in the list of narco-cops mentioned by Duterte.

An officer of the Tuguegarao City Police said Bautista was last seen during his surrender to then city police chief Supt. Jessie Tamayo three months after Duterte’s exposé.

PNP to buy new choppers

The PNP is planning to acquire two brand new helicopters to boost its mobility capabilities, Dela Rosa said, noting these could be used in big events like the recent feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila.

“How I wish I had a helicopter to make a fly-over at the crowd in the Traslacion of the Black Nazarene,” the police chief told reporters, who asked him to assess the security in last Monday’s religious procession.

Dela Rosa said the purchase of new helicopters was discussed in last year’s deliberations on the 2017 national budget at the Senate.

Dela Rosa thanked Sens. Joseph Victor Ejercito and Ralph Recto for ensuring the chopper purchase was included in the budget.

“I’m very hopeful that eventually we could buy the two helicopters,” Dela Rosa said, adding he prefers purchasing new helicopters than repairing old choppers that seemed to be beyond repair anyway.

“The status is beyond economic repair, meaning it’s more economical to just buy a brand new one,” he said.

Dela Rosa said firearms and vehicles are also in the PNP’s shopping list.

“It’s the usual move, shoot and communication requirements,” he said.

Drug pusher’slawyer arrested

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operatives have arrested a lawyer of slain suspected drug pusher Melvin Odicta Sr. for obstruction of justice after allegedly preventing the serving of a search warrant at his client’s house in Iloilo City.

PDEA director general Isidro Lapena said yesterday lawyer Marbhen Lumbo intervened during the search in the Odicta residence in Barangay Malipayon last Jan 8.

The operation led to the arrest of Odicta’s son and namesake, Melvin Jr., and others.

Authorities conducted the search after receiving reports that the house was being used as a drug den.

In implementing the warrant, Lumbo allegedly prevented anti-narcotics agents from proceeding with the search and objected to the confiscation of some items. The lawyer also protested the handcuffing of his clients.

– With Raymund Catindig


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