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NCRPO’s latest drug haul: Nearly P40-M shabu, 516 drug personalities

December 13, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 398 views

A WEEK-LONG conduct of ‘One-Time, Big-Time’ anti-narcotics operations in Metro Manila resulted in the arrest of 516 drug personalities, 18 of them ‘high-value targets’ and the seizure of nearly P40 million worth of shabu and dried marijuana leaves, National Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Jonnel C. Estomo said yesterday.

According to the official, the December 3-9 simultaneous anti-criminality law enforcement operations in the metropolis saw different NCRPO units conducting 300 anti-narcotics operations which led in the arrest of 18 ‘HVTs,’ 284 ‘street-level individuals’ and 114 others who are not in their watchlist.

Maj. Gen. Estomo said that confiscated from the suspects were 5,790.35 grams of shabu and 2,074.32 grams of marijuana valued at P39,639,224.14. He added that 357 criminal cases for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 have been filed against the arrested suspects.

The NCRPO chief announced their anti-drug accomplishments during the rollout of the BIDA or Buhay ay Ingatan, Droga ay Iwasan program of the Department of Interior and Local Government headed by Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ C. Abalos Jr. at the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City on Monday.

Philippine National Police chief, General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr., Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chair, Director General Moro Virgilio M. Lazo, Dangerous Drugs Board Undersecretary Gilbert DC Cruz and Department of Health official, Dr. Gloria J. Balboa also attended the BIDA rollout.

The program initially launched last November 26 is banking on the full cooperation of National Government Agencies, the League of Local Government Units, the private sector, faith-based organizations and civil society organizations in the national government’s fight against drugs.

Sec. Abalos said they want to work in unison towards an intensified and more comprehensive campaign against illegal drugs to reduce drug demand in the communities.

“We commit to further intensify our campaign against illegal drugs in line with the DILG’s ‘BIDA’ program which aims to advocate a holistic approach to ultimately reduce community demand of this dangerous substance,” said Maj. Gen. Estomo.

The official said that the entire NCRPO.supports the DILG in its belief that the key to effectively reducing the demand for illegal drugs is a collective action that is grassroots-focused and targets both prevention and rehabilitation by promoting anti-drug education at every level, from national programs to barangay activities and school events.

In this light, the campaign not only focuses in the arrest of drug personalities and confiscation of illegal drugs but also in reaching out to numerous drug users for their voluntary surrender and help them in their endeavor to shift their lifestyle and become more productive individuals.

The rollout of the BIDA program in NCRPO was highlighted by the ceremonial turnover by the NCRPO of PWUDs or Persons Who Use Drugs to the DOH, represented by Dr. Balboa in preparation for their Recovery Wellness Program under the Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program of the government.

With a 236,083 baseline data in 2016 and 90,582 harmonized drug surrenderers data, the NCRPO launched its own Recovery and Wellness Program where 13,804 already graduated while 4,483 out of the remaining 76,778 are expected to graduate on January 2023.

Maj. Gen. Estomo said they are partnering with parishes and different communities to help PWUDs return to the mainstream of the society.

Under these programs, enrolled drug dependents undergo spiritual and values formation, one-on-one and group counselling sessions, skills training, and livelihood opportunities, and sports, art, and culture development to transform lives, restore human dignity, and finally reintegrate drug dependents into their communities.

Gen. Azurin in his message reiterated the marching order of President Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr to intensify the campaign against illegal drugs especially to arrest and file complaints against those involved in illegal drugs.

He further ordered to identify the root causes as to why they engage in illegal drugs.

“Hanapin natin bakit ba sila nagbebenta ng ipinagbabawal na droga. Kailangan matugunan natin ang lahat ng kadahilanan why they are engaging in such illegal drugs. Hanapin ninyo ang mga high value individual na yan,” the top cop said.

“At ito naman po ang tinutugunan ng ating minamahal na Secretary Benjamin Abalos sa kanyang BIDA Program. Because the PNP had been longing for a really honest to goodness anti-illegal drug campaign,” he added.