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Cebu News

Use of minors in drug trade remains rampant — CCPO

Iris Hazel M. Mascardo - The Freeman
Use of minors in drug trade remains rampant â CCPO
CCPO deputy city director for administration Ryan Devaras said this is deeply appalling and alarming.

CEBU, Philippines — The use of minors in illegal drug trade is still relentless in Cebu City, according to a Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) official.

CCPO deputy city director for administration Ryan Devaras said this is deeply appalling and alarming.

He made the statement after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-7 operatives rescued two toddlers from a drug den in Barangay Punta Princesa last week.

The mother of one of the toddlers allegedly converted their home into a drug den and even forced her two-year-old son to snort illegal drugs to stop him from crying. The 39-year-old mother, however, was able to elude arrest.

Witnesses who spoke with NBI-7 agents said that the mother would often let her two-year-old child sniff shabu – calling it a “lollipop” – because she did not want to be disturbed in manning her drug den.

The rescued minors are now under the care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

In another raid of a drug den in Sitio Imhai, NBI-7 agents found out that the drug den maintainers’ 16-year-old child is used in distributing illegal drugs. The boy was not present at the drug den during the raid.

NBI-7 agent Aga Gierran earlier expressed alarm over how drug suspects are using and involving children in their illegal activities.

Although it was not the first incident, Devaras said, the children’s involvement or presence in drug dens remains disturbing.

“We encountered and intercepted many minors who were involved in illegal drugs. And, the practice of using children in drug trade is still prevalent. This needs to be addressed,” he said.

He said CCPO’s Women's and Children's Desk and the barangays where the minors come from conduct anti-drug abuse symposiums.

This is among the police’s programs to help and protect children engaged in drug trafficking.

He said another police intervention is the regular monitoring of identified drug dens in the city.

“We have personnel deployed in barangays for peace and order monitoring and for intelligence operations. We also partnered with other law enforcement agencies to boost our anti-illegal drug operations,” he said.  (FREEMAN)

DRUG TRADE

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