Seven fall in drug den raid

Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - May 14, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Seven individuals were arrested from a drug den raided by the operatives of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-7) Wednesday evening in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City.

The suspects were identified as Christopher Balaba, Margarito Margaha, Reynaldo Boldero Jr., Rezon Roble, Willkeans Natural, Armando Cabatuan, and Dondon Nacario.  At least P150,000 worth of illegal drugs were seized during the operation.

In a statement, PDEA-7 said they placed Balaba under surveillance for two days after receiving information that he was running a drug den and could dispose of around 50 grams of shabu every week.

After validating the information a raid was immediately conducted resulting in the arrest of the suspects. According to PDEA-7, they have already busted at least 10 drug dens in Cebu City since January this year.

Meanwhile, at least 19 drug surrenderers from Barangay Ermita graduated yesterday from a 3-month community-based rehabilitation program.

Police Lt. Colonel Wilbert Parilla, deputy city director for operations at Cebu City Police Office, said graduation exercises of those who have completed the rehabilitation program is a continuing activity of the PNP and other stakeholders like the City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP), PDEA-7, and the different barangays.

"Without sa strength sa barangay, I don't think so na mahimo ni syang posible, dako gyud kaayo og papel nga gimbuhaton ang atong mga barangay officials sa usa ka kumunidad," Parilla said.

According to Parilla, the graduation activity in Barangay Ermita would help change the people’s perspective about the barangay, which is known for rampant illegal drug trade. He admitted that until now the barangay is still affected by the illegal drug problem.

"Wala man tay barangay sa Cebu City nga dili affected, all barangays in Cebu City are (still) affected with drugs, but with the current activities nga gihimo sa atong barangay, dako kaayo ni og tabang... especially nga atong mga surrenderers mahimo nasad silang catalyst nga moawhag sa ilang mga kaila nga ganahan na usab mag bag-o," Parilla said.

Ermita Barangay Captain Mark Miral said they have been conducting house-to-house visitation to those included in the watchlist to convince them to join in the rehabilitation program.

As of this writing, Miral said, at least 200 individuals have already agreed to undergo the community-based rehabilitation program.

COSAP head Jonah John Rodriguez said most of the barangays in the city are running their own community-based rehabilitation program. Based on their data, 75 of the 80 barangays have their own program.

In fact, 98 drug surrenderers are also set to complete their rehabilitation program in Barangay Sudlon I soon.

"So far sa atong mga drug surrenders naabot nata’g almost 4,000 and then importante kaayo ang suporta sa barangay sa atong mga police stations diin na belong kini nga mga barangays," said Rodriguez. — FPL (FREEMAN)

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