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Bicol cops score big in ‘war on drugs’ anew
THE stepped up campaign against illegal drugs by the Police Regional Office 5 in Bicol has resulted in the confiscation of over P22 million worth of shabu and the arrest of 52 top drug targets in the region late this month earning them commendations from Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr.
Under Brigadier Gen. Rudolph B. Dimas, the PRO5 from January 16 to 22 launched a series of anti-drug operations which led to the seizure of P22,209,468 worth of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ and the arrest of 52 suspects, six of them described as ‘high-value targets’ in Bicol.
The arrested suspects are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
“We’re further stepping up our efforts to identify and arrest known big-time drug personalities in Bicol in line with the reinvigorated campaign against drugs ordered by PNP chief, General Azurin,” the PRO5 director told the Journal Group.
Brig. Gen. Dimas said the rest of the suspects include 38 ‘Street-Level Individuals’ or those involved in street-level drug pushing and eight who are not in their watch list but were found to be involved in shabu traffickin.
The PRO5 director said that during the period, they launched 42 Simultaneous Anti-Criminality Law Enforcement Operations, formerly known as the PNP ‘One-Time, Big-Time’ anti-crime operations resulting in the confiscation of some 3.266 grams of shabu and five grams of dried marijuana leaves.
The official said the Naga City Police Office made the biggest drug haul with the arrest of couple Nelynn Tobias,40; and Ernan Tobias, 45, last January 19 along Diversion Road, Zone 5 in Barangay Tabuco. The couple yielded two kilos of shabu worth P13.6 million.
Prior to their arrest, the couple sold a plastic sachet containing P1.1 million worth of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ to an undercover officer. When subjected to a search, the two yielded a total of 2,000 grams of shabu with a Dangerous Drugs Board value of P13.6 million, the P1.1 million worth of buy-bust money topped by a marked P500 bill and a caliber 9mm semi-automatic pistol with a magazine containing four live ammunition.
Brig. Gen Dimas said the two were arrested following weeks of surveillance jointly conducted by undercover officers from the PRO5 Regional Drug Enforcement Unit and the respective DEUs of the Naga City Police, the Camarines Sur Police Provincial Office and the Milaor and San Fernando Municipal Police Stations.
Members of the PRO5 Regional Special Operations Unit, Regional Mobile Force Battalion and the PNP Drug Enforcement Group under Brig. Gen. Narciso D. Domingo were also involved in the successful anti-drug sting.
The Naga City police was followed by the Camarines Sur Police Provincial Office whose men last January 20 arrested Ryan Magdalita, a 35-year-old resident of 1830 Algeciras Street in Sampaloc, Manila while selling drugs to a poseur in Zone 1,Bgy. San Agustin in Pili, Camarines Sur.
The suspect was found in possession of a kilo of shabu valued at P6.8 million.
In Albay, local policemen also confiscated an estimated P628,000 worth of the same drug while officers in Camarines Norte accounted for nearly P487,000 worth of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine.’
Meanwhile, the Masbate PPO confiscated P210,000 worth of shabu. The Sorgoson police managed to recover P4,540 worth of the prohibited drug during the period.
PRO5 NO. 1 IN BARANGAY DRUG-CLEARING TOO
The PRO5 has also emerged as the top performing Police Regional Office when it comes to clearing barangays of drug-influence.
In collaboration with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bicol police has already declared 78 percent or 2,170 out of the total 2,782 affected barangays in Bicol as ‘drug-cleared.’
Sorsogon has the most number of drug-cleared barangays with 97 percent followed by Catanduanes with 93 percent.
Among the parameters for declaring a ‘drug-cleared barangay’ are the following: the non-availability of drug supply, absence of drug transit, laboratory, warehouse, pusher, user and protector; and existence of drug awareness and prevention programs and voluntary drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk.
The PRO5 has emerged as the Top PRO when it comes to the PNP’s barangay drug-clearing program for two consecutive years. This year, it again ranked No. 1 with an overall rating of 93.62 percent followed by the PRO11 in Southern Mindanao under Brig. Gen. Benjamin H. Silo Jr. with 92.93 percent and the PRO4-A in Calabarzon region under Brig. Gen. Jose Melencio C. Nartatez Jr. with a 92.84 percent rating.
According to Brig. Gen. Dimas, the KASIMBAYANAN program of Gen. Azurin which calls for greater police, Church and community partnership in fighting criminality and keeping peace and order around the country has been a major key in their success in fighting drugs in Bicol.
He also assured the public that the Kasurog Cops shall continue their momentum and ensure to bring about the transformation it has long been working for the generations to come.
The official also gave credit to the BIDA program or Buhay ay Ingatan, Droga ay Iwasan program of Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ C. Abalos Jr. in their successful anti-drug campaign
“I commend the tireless efforts of our Police Regional Office 5 officers under the leadership of Police Brigadier General Rudolph B Dimas, Regional Director, in this successful anti-illegal drug operation. The arrest of these drug dealers is a victory for our community and a step forward in our fight against illegal drugs. I thank the community for their continued support, and I encourage them to continue working with us to keep our streets safe,” Gen. Azurin said.
Under Brig. Gen. Dimas, a proud Igorot from Besao, Mountain Province, the 11,428-strong Bicol police force buckled to work last year as the member of PNP Academy ‘Tagapagpatupad’ Class of 1992 was named by Gen. Azurin to replace now Major Gen. Mario A. Reyes as PRO5 director.
Headed by the known nemesis of kidnappers in the country, the PRO5 last year launched a total of 963 anti-illegal drug operations in the region which led to the arrest of 1,028 ‘high-value and low-value individuals.’
The operations include the service of 79 search warrants for violation of RA 9165, 741 buy-bust operations, service of 94 warrants of arrest for violation of RA 9165 and 49 other police operations.
As a result, a total of 765 ‘HVI’s or ‘high-value targets and 254 ‘LVIs’ or those engaged in street-level drug activities were hauled to jail by the Bicol police. A total of 1,361 charges for violation of RA 9165 were also filed against the jailed drug offenders, with Brig. Gen. Dimas instructing his men to ensure the prosecution to the hilt of the accused.
Brig. Gen. Dimas said the operations resulted in the seizure of nearly P97 million worth of shabu and marijuana. The biggest drug seizures were made by the Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Sorsogon Police Provincial Offices and the Naga City Police Office.