FROM being drug free, the Police Regional Office – Cordillera noted the resurgence of illegal drugs in 60 barangays in the region. Despite the resurgence, the regional police still believe it can once more garner 98 percent clearing of barangays prior to the transfer of illegal drugs operation to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
In their New Years call at Camp Bado Dangawa, PRO-COR Regional Director Chief Superintendent Elmo Sarona reiterated the organizations renewed thrust against the drug menace in the region. "It’s not that alarming, however, what is disheartening is despite our efforts to clear these areas of the illegal drug trade, they are again being penetrated by these drug operators," Sarona said.
The provinces of Ifugao, Mountain Province and Apayao remained clear while other provinces indicated a resurgence of the illegal drug trade. "Now that we are once again instructed to conduct anti-illegal drug operations, we believe that we can address the problem of resurgence," Sarona pointed out. The President's decision in bringing the police back to the government’s war on drugs was due to his dissatisfaction on the accomplishments of PDEA on war on illegal drugs.
"There is no conflict between the PNP and PDEA and in fact, we will now play an active supporting role to the drug agency following protocols it established during anti-illegal drugs operations," added Sarona. Based on the protocols, the PNP is mandated to coordinate with the PDEA prior to the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations followed by the furnishing of the PNP to the drug agency of an after operations report.
A total of 117,268 drug personalities were arrested and 78,619 anti-drug operations were conducted from July to November last year, according to PDEA data. Some 2,525.77 kilos of shabu or methamphetamine worth P18.9 billion were seized in the same period, and have declared 4,295 barangays drug-cleared since July.
"Our specific function now during anti-illegal drugs operation is for us to conduct proper documentation since being law enforcers, any violation committed in our presence should be acted upon properly and immediately," Sarona quipped.
By Jonathan Llanes