Cebu News

88% of barangays drug affected

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Out of the 1,066 barangays in the whole of Cebu Province excluding the highly-urbanized cities, 934 or 88 percent are affected by illegal drugs, according to the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO).

According to Ivy-Durano Meca, chief of CPADAO, out of the total affected barangays, 14 are seriously affected, 407 are moderately affected, 513 are slightly affected, while only 132 barangays are not affected by drugs.

Of the 14 barangays that are seriously affected 5 are in the first district, another 5 are in fifth district, while the second, third, sixth and seventh districts have one barangay each.

Being drug affected is defined as having the presence of drugs in the barangay.

CPADAO is now implementing a community-based crisis intervention program designed for surrenderers in line with the Toktok Hangyo or "Tokhang" program of the PNP.

The Control and Rehabilitation on Substance Abuse which consists of three phases will focus on the welfare of those who surrendered. The first phase will focus on the immediate processing and profiling of drug dependents who will be categorized as either user or pusher.

The second phase will focus on the barangay-based programs that facilitate basic treatment through education, life skills training, alternative activities and counseling for an estimated period of six months.

The last phase is the drug proofing of the barangay. In this phase the surrenderers will also be reintegrated into the mainstream community.

Meca added their aim now is to focus their rehabilitation efforts on the 14 barangays that are seriously affected. She said their record does not include the barangays from Cebu City, Mandaue City, and Lapu-Lapu City.

Tokhang in the posh places

The police have started visiting private villages and subdivisions in Cebu City as part of the continuing anti-drug campaign through Oplan Tokhang.

Personnel from Guadalupe Police Station braved the rain as they first went to Espina Village in Barangay Guadalupe yesterday morning.

Chief Inspector Jose Gesto, Guadalupe Police Station chief, said the activity had a good start as they received commitment from the residents in the said village to support the police in their efforts to weed out illegal drugs.

Gesto, along with other Guadalupe policemen, distributed leaflets and calling cards as they knocked on the door of every house, asking for the full cooperation of the community by sending them information about illegal drug activities in their area.

He added they will still be conducting more rounds of Tokhang in villages and subdivisions in the coming days.

Senior Superintendent Joel Doria, chief of the Cebu City Police Office, earlier dispelled insinuations that only poor communities are being subjected to Tokhang operations. He said the scope of the program covers not only those in squatter areas but also those in high-end subdivisions and even condominiums.

Police Regional Office-7 Director Noli Taliño also assured that once a person is included in the police stations’ watch list of drug personalities, they will not hesitate to visit the subject regardless if he is in a subdivision or a condominium.

“Ang Tokhang ay walang pinipili na tao, mayaman man o mahirap. Kasi ang problema natin sa ilegal na drogas ganun din, mahirap man o mayaman, lalaki o babae, bata o matanda ay biktima ng ilegal na droga,” he said.

Oplan Tokhang is a PNP program which appeals to drug peddlers and users to cease their activities and be part in the effort to eradicate illegal drugs within six months in line with the plan of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In Central Visayas, policemen already visited 48,748 houses. A total of 67,312 drug users and 4,985 drug pushers have also surrendered as of August this year.

Drug  arrests

Meanwhile, two alleged notorious drug peddlers were arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation in separate operations in Sitio Lahing-Lahing, Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City.

Both Julius Compayan of Tangub City, Misamis Oriental; and Rogelio Abasalo of Pinamungajan, Cebu, were arrested after they sold packs of shabu to an NBI agent who acted as a poseur-buyer. The suspects are neighbors in Sitio Lahing-Lahing.

The NBI yesterday filed criminal complaints before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office against the suspects, as well as a certain Arnold Clemen, for sale and possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Clemen, who is still at large, reportedly helped maintain Abasalo’s drug den.

NBI-7 director Patricio Bernales Jr. said the suspects have been under NBI surveillance since last week following reports of their continued illegal drug activities. Last Tuesday, NBI agents conducted two test buys that were made the basis for the operation.

Compayan was among the thousands of drug users and pushers who surrendered to the authorities after Oplan Tokhang. He denied using and selling illegal drugs.

“Gidala ra akong ngalan nga nagbuhi ko og item nga dinagko. Nasakitan ko kay niundang na ‘nuon ko tapos ako ngalan gidala ug gipasanginlan. Wa naman ko namaligya,” he said.

Abasalo was imprisoned in 2012 for seven months in the municipal jail of Pinamungajan for allegedly selling and using marijuana.

In Talisay City two siblings were arrested  Wednesday afternoon.

Around 6:30 p.m. Talisay police went to arrest Joevani Padigos, 39 a resident of Barangay Candulawan Talisay in a buy-bust operation, but Padigos was able to escape, taking advantage of the heavy rain and his familiarity with the area.

Police instead arrested his live-in partner Girlie Sarausad, 20, and her brother Gerson Sarausad, 22, both residents of the said place. — Le Phyllis F.  Antojado, Michael Vencynth H. Braga, Kristine B. Quintas, and Iris Mariani B. Algabre/BRP (FREEMAN)


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