63 Cordillera barangays still drug affected


BAGUIO CITY –  The Cordillera office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-CAR) reported that some sixty three barangays in the different parts of the region remain to be drug affected amidst the unrelenting and uncompromising anti-illegal drug campaign being undertaken by law enforcers and anti-narcotics agents.

Based on the PDEA-CAR report during the joint meeting of the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) at the Mansion House last Thursday, Abra had the most drug affected barangays with 29 followed by Baguio City with 15, Kalinga – 8 barangays, Apayao and Benguet – 5 barangays each and Ifugao – 1 barangays while Mountain Province did not have any durg affected barangay.

On the other hand, PDEA-CAR reported that the Regional Oversight Committee was able to clear a total of 753 barangays from the 816 previously drug affected barangays.

Abra still had the highest number of drug cleared barangays with 188 barangays followed by Baguio city with 109 barangays; Benguet 107 barangays, Kalinga – 106 barangays, Apayao – 97 barangays, Ifugao – 81 barangays and Mountain Province – 65 barangays.

Of the region’s 1,176 barangays, 360 barangays are drug unaffected, 816 are considered to be drug affected, 753 barangays have been declared cleared by the Regional Oversight Committee and 63 barangays remain to be drug affected to date.

The PDEA-CAR also claimed that 154 drug personalities wherein 85 individuals are included in the target list while 69 personalities are in the watchlist.

According to the PDEA, there are still 5 drug groups composed of 18 members that are operating in the different parts of the region.

The PDEA-CAR disclosed that shabu remains to be the drug of choice while the cultivation of marijuana remains rampant in the hinterlands of Tinglayan, kalinga, Kibungan and Bakun in Benguet.

Further, the PDEA-CAR was able to document a marijuana eradication in Bauko, Mountain Province, however, the cultivator, according to the residents, came from Benguet who migrated to the highland municipality.

On the other hand, hashish, which is a derivative of marijuana, is allegedly being manufactured in Bulacan, Tinglayan, Kalinga where the same is sold to local and foreign tourists who are reportedly frequenting the said areas.

Likewise, the report added the marijuana are reaped, dried, compacted into bricks and stalks and discretely transported outside the region.

However, the PDEA-CAR claimed that there was no monitored manufacture of synthetic drugs in the region.

Tactical interview of arrested drug personalities showed that the supply line of shabu entering from the Cordillera comes from the National Capital Region and CALABARZON passing through the major entry points of the region through major highways connected to the neighboring provinces of Regions I, II and III and that drug personalities utilize public utility vehicles like buses and vans as well as private vehicles either rented or owned to transport the same while marijuana is believed to be from areas in Kalinga and Benguet wherein personalities from the lowland areas posing as local tourists smuggle the marijuana in different forms from the said areas to their desired destinations. By Dexter A. See