BAGUIO CITY – The Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) recorded some two thousand four hundred fifty-four drug surrenderees in the city following the intensified anti-drug operations of the Duterte administration over a year ago to curb illegal drugs nationwide and prevent the youth from being involved in illegal drugs.
Senior Superintendent Ramil L. Saculles, BCPO City Director, said of the total number of drug surrenderees in the city, 2,018 were said to be drug users while 436 are drug pushers.
From July 1, 2016, to January 2017, BCPO recorded 2,362 drug surrenderees wherein 1, 979 are drug users and 383 are said to drug pushers.
When the government’s enhanced anti-drug campaign was implemented starting March 6 this year, the local police force accounted for 92 drug surrenderees wherein 53 were drug pushers and 39 were drug users.
“We continue to receive drug surrenderees in the different police stations aside from the ones that are being arrested in our anti-drug operations that is why we remain aggressive to help clear the city of illegal drugs,” Saculles stressed.
For those users and pushers who want to be brought back to mainstream society, the BCPO chief revealed they are being required to undergo a 12-module integrated participatory community-based rehabilitation program wherein the drug surrenderees are mandated to complete a battery of tests before they will be allowed to graduate from the program.
Based on the latest data obtained from the Cordillera office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-CAR), there are still 19 of the city’s 128 barangays which are classified as drug-affected barangays because of the presence of reported drug pushers and users therein which has to be neutralized by the police operatives and anti-narcotics agents.
According to him, for as long as there are reported drug pushers and users in the drug-affected barangays, law enforcers will continue to intensify their anti-drug operations in coordination with the concerned sectors of society to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs in their places and spare the youth from being addicted to drugs.
The police official claimed BCPO will continue to be actively involved in the implementation of community-based programs to encourage the active participation of the youth, like the Battle of the Bands, sports events, and other productive activities that will help them shy away from the use of prohibited drugs.
He added BCPO continues to engage the various sectors of the community to help in curbing the use of and trade in illegal drugs as the city remains a transshipment point for drugs, thus, the need for a more aggressive effort in ridding the city of illegal drugs that affects the peace and order situation in the city as the use of illegal drugs have been directly connected to the certain crimes in the past.
By Dexter A. See