Cebu News

Anti-illegal drugs campaign: Weekend deaths - 12

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - It was a bloody weekend for alleged drug personalities in Central Visayas, with at least 12 persons killed either during police operations or by suspected vigilantes. This brings to 22 the number of those killed for their 'drug involvement' since July 1.

Police Regional Office-7 director Noli Taliño said of the 12 persons, 10 were killed when they attempted to fight arrested police officers.

"The two were allegedly killed by somebody else… May ibang grupo na pumapatay ng pushers," he said. 

Last week, Taliño disclosed that he received a text message from an unknown source asking to allow them to help in the anti-drug crusade by killing those involved in the illegal drug trade.

 He was told there was a drug pusher in the sender's barangay who continues to sell illegal drugs.

 "Sir yong drug pusher sa aming barangay ay tuloy-tuloy na nagtutulak at hindi natatakot.  Kami dito… nag usap-usap at kong pumapayag kayo kami nalang ang bibira," Taliño quoted what the person told him.

"Possible vigilante. We will not encourage that, labag yan sa batas," Taliño said when asked who possibly texted him. He said the police do not allow summary killings.

He said he told the person that it is the duty of the police force to run against lawless elements, not the public, but that the police remain open to any information that would help them in their anti-drug operations.

Aside from that text message, he said he received several text messages on illegal drug activities.

Taliño said he told the unknown person that he can report to them the name of the alleged drug pusher, the address, and the possible contacts and if ever there is a police protector.

As of yesterday, an estimated 50,000 surrenderers who are into the drug trade have turned themselves in for profiling by the police, following the implementation of the Oplan Tokhang campaign.

 "Expect tuloy-tuloy ang pag-surrender at tuloy-tuloy ang campaign natin. Hindi natin ititigil hanggat di matatapos," he said, adding that aside from conducting Oplan Tokhang, they at the same time served search warrants and warrants of arrest as part of the anti-drug campaign.

Meanwhile, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has come up with an ad that helped explain his disenchantment over the removal of police officials who were doing well in the anti-drug fight that he decided to stop providing cash rewards and involving the city in the campaign.

The ad said nine of 10 alleged drug lords were either arrested or neutralized in just six weeks, and proceeded to congratulate the police for the outstanding job. The police officials he was referring to are now all gone after being replaced as part of the ongoing nationwide revamp of all police posts.

Osmeña had been giving monetary reward for every drug pusher the police killed. However, last July 14, he announced that he would no longer continue giving the reward as he was disturbed by the relief of former Cebu City Police Office director Benjamin Santos and Police Regional Officer-7 direcgor Patrocinio Comendador.

 "I can announce that out of the ten most wanted drugs suspects, we got nine….  We have a new police chief let him find the last one, I don't know. We only got nine, nobody is perfect," Osmeña earlier said.

"I hope our new police commanders will do a better job. But let me give my biased opinion. I have served as your mayor for at least 5 terms. The last batch of commanders from Gen. Comendador to City Chief Benjie Santos were the best that I have worked with," he said in the ad.

He said he tried to get an explanation from Philippine National Police Chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on Comendador's relief but did not get any. (Dela Rosa, though, came to Cebu City and had wanted to explain personally to the mayor but did not get any audience from him. (FREEMAN)


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