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PNP, PDEA hope for bloodless anti-drug ops

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) will pour efforts to attain zero fatality during anti-illegal drug operations for both the targets and the police officers.

“Maningkamot ta nga zero fatalities gihapon, unta kung naa man gani ta madakpan dili lang sad unta mosukol, aron waly encounter,” said Superintendent Artemio Ricabo, deputy city director for administration.

He said that what is at stake is the responsibility to observe human rights policies.

“Ang pahimangno lang sa atong mga operatives, we have to follow what is in the law, extra cautious, or what is the rules on operational procedures sundon,” Ricabo said.

He said they have resumed their surveillance and validation activities on drug personalities.

As CCPO is known for the Oplan Pokemon, a more localized version of Oplan Double Barrel, Ricabo wished that the number of people that they arrest every week would decrease.

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In their 47th weekly roundup of individuals caught violating national laws, city ordinances, among others, the police have arrested 51 persons, which was relatively lesser compared to the previous weeks where they would net more than a hundred.

He said that this is an indication that shabu prices increased and the police operations are effective.

“I hope na mo-minus gihapon ang dakop sa druga aron magpamatuod nga naminus na ang droga, kay nimahal ang drugas og  gipanghingusgan gyud ang operation sa druga,” Ricabo said.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)–7 Director Emerson Margate said that the war on drugs of the Duterte administration is very achievable with the cooperation of everyone, not only by the PNP and the PDEA, but also of the community.

Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the Philippine National Police is back in supporting the PDEA in the war on drugs.

With the pronouncement, the PNP has returned to conducting buy-bust operations and implementing search warrants among suspected drug personalities.

Duterte also asked the public last Wednesday to give him another year to solve the problem on illegal drugs.

“Tulong-tulong kaya po eh. Basta andiyan lang ang support ay kayang-kaya talaga,” said Margate.

He also said that the support coming from the local government unit (LGU) also boasted their confidence as law enforcers.

Margate appreciates the effort seen among the LGUs in finding ways to fight drugs in their municipalities and cities.

“Dito sa Region 7 ay kitang-kita naman na very cooperative din during oversight meeting against drugs. Makikita natin na each provinces ay may kanya-kanyang approach,” said Margate.

He also hopes that drug personalities will refrain from resisting arrests to avoid fatalities during police and PDEA operations.

“Ang order is maximum tolerance. Kung ano ang ini-allow ng law pero hindi naman namin i-compromise ang mga tao din natin. Sana nga less para ang tiwala talaga ng taong bayan ay nandoon tapos kung may tiwala ay mas maganda ang support,” said Margate.

Duterte has tapped the Philippine National Police to lead his flagship program in cleansing the country of all forms of illegal drugs.

The PNP-led drug war was criticized by human rights advocates placing the Philippines in the global spotlight and errant cops in hot water due to the thousands of deaths in drug-related operations.

This resulted in the removal of the PNP in February this year from any drug-related operations.

Last March, the PNP was again entrusted to work on anti-illegal drug operations.

Last October 11, however, Duterte again removed the police force in the war against drugs, after public outcry on the killing of teenagers Carlo Arnaiz and Kian Lloyd Delos Santos.

PDEA led the drug war for two months, despite the glaring lack of manpower, with only 1,200 personnel nationwide as compared to the 170,000 stronghold of the PNP.

Citing lack of manpower to curb illegal drugs, the PNP is back again as a supporting agency to conduct anti-illegal drug operations. (FREEMAN)

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