Members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency use drug-detection dogs in their quarantine checkpoint duties. Unson
PDEA deploys drug-detection dogs in Mindanao quarantine checkpoints
John Unson ( - May 23, 2020 - 1:06pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Anti-narcotics agents have lately been visible in quarantine checkpoints following the recent entrapment of top shabu dealers in central Mindanao amid the coronavirus health emergency.

Personnel of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and in Region 12 have seized more than P10 million worth of shabu, or methamphetamine hydrochloride, in a series of operations since the coronavirus quarantine began in March.

Juvenal Azurin, director of PDEA-BARMM, said Saturday drug dealers have obviously been taking advantage of the concentration of police and military units on COVID-19 quarantine enforcement functions to circulate their illegal merchandise via contacts in the barangays.

PDEA-BARMM’s latest entrapment operation, conducted early this week, led to the arrest in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao of three drug dealers and the confiscation of P680,000 worth of shabu they were to sell to non-uniformed agents.

Combined agents of PDEA from BARMM and Region 12 also seized more than P500,000 worth of shabu and eight assault rifles from two drug dealers arrested in an operation in Alamada town in North Cotabato the week before.

Azurin said their agents are using drug detection dogs in helping the police and military guard coronavirus quarantine checkpoints in Cotabato City and in Maguindanao.

“We shall also do random inspections in public spots as part of our effort to restrain shabu smugglers from moving around while our counterparts in the uniformed service are focused on COVID-19 prevention missions,” Azurin said.

Brig. Gen. Manuel Abu, director of the Bangsamoro regional police, said Saturday they appreciate the visibility of PDEA agents backed by drug-sniffing dogs in quarantine checkpoints.

The PDEA-BARMM and units of the Bangsamoro regional police are actively cooperating in addressing trafficking of shabu in the region, according to Abu.

Azurin said the visibility of their drug-detection dogs in checkpoints will deter the movement of drug dealers in Maguindanao and in Cotabato City, both component areas of the Bangsamoro region.

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