Año: Intensified checkpoints needed to prevent marijuana trade
Photo release shows 217 kilos of marijuana bricks with estimated worth of Php 26 million pesos seized by the PNP Drug Enforcement Group in a joint operation on November 29, in Balintawak, Quezon City.
Release/PNP Drug Enforcement Group

Año: Intensified checkpoints needed to prevent marijuana trade

(Philstar.com) - December 2, 2020 - 11:45am

MANILA, Philippines — More checkpoints are the answer to the worsening problem of marijuana in the country, with drug users switching from crystal meth, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Wednesday. 

Speaking in an interview aired over GMA's "Unang Balita," the interior and local government chief highlighted that drug syndicates have gotten more creative in dealing with the movement restrictions amid the coronavirus-induced lockdowns.   

In an earlier report to President Rodrigo Duterte, Año, a former military general, claimed that drug addicts in the country were slowly shifting back to marijuana due to the lessened supply of crystal meth, or shabu. 

"Checkpoints need to be intensified because these groups are competent. They mix marijuana with finished products and hide them in the seat compartments of their vehicles," he said in Filipino. 

"Drug pushers have a lot of innovations and initiatives so we really need to look at more checkpoints and intelligence operations," he also said. 

The Philippine National Police is an attached bureau under the DILG. 

Earlier on Sunday, three high-value suspects were arrested in Quezon City with 217 kilos of marijuana bricks worth of P26 million in their possession. 

"What we need to do is intensify the campaign not only here in Metro Manila. We need to comb the mountains also with a joint operation with the military to see if there might still be any existing plantations," he said.

According to Police Gen. Debold Sinas, PNP chief, the illegal drugs supposedly came from Cordillera.

“We encourage our law-abiding citizens to be vigilant in watching over the 'new normal' operations of illegal drug syndicates as the PNP will further intensify hunting the high-value targets so that we could prevent them from destroying the lives and future of our children,” Sinas said in an earlier statement. — Franco Luna 

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