Persona non grata status of drug suspects in Baguio backed

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City officials supported the position of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) in the Cordillera declaring as ‘persona non grata’  in the city drug pushers, marijuana cultivators, and producers of similar drug substances, to strengthen the whole-of-government approach in curbing the proliferation of illegal drugs.

Under Resolution No. 406, series of 2020, signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, the Council stated that to help the continuing campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the eradication of marijuana plantation sites and apprehension of drug pushers in the region, there is also a need to disallow the presence of any person involved in drug trade or activities in the city.

The council anchored its action on Section 16 of Republic Act (RA) 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government code of 1991, which mandates every local government unit to exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental to efficiently and effectively govern and promote general welfare.

In a press statement issued on June 21, 2020, Police Brig. Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan, regional director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in the Cordillera, called upon local government units in the region to follow the RPOC-CAR Resolution to declare as ‘persona non grata’ drug pushers, marijuana cultivators, and producers of similar drug substances, to help in the government’s aggressive campaign against the proliferation of illegal drugs in the city.

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Based on the report of the PDEA-CAR, Baguio City remains a transshipment point of shabu from the lowlands to the different parts of the region and marijuana from the Cordillera to the different parts of the lowlands and the National Capital Region (NCR).

President Rodrigo R. Duterte launched an aggressive anti-drug campaign when he assumed the presidency in 2016 to stamp out the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country and spare the present and future generations of Filipinos from being exposed to the serious negative effects of the use of prohibited drugs that will eventually turn the country into a narcotic state.

The campaign caused the voluntary surrender of millions of drug pushers and users in the different parts of the country that resulted to the surge in the prices of illegal drugs like shabu because of the limited supply coupled with the aggressive law enforcement operations against the drug suspects.

The council stated the law enforcement and anti-narcotics agencies need to sustain the aggressive campaign against illegal drugs to ensure that there will be lasting peace in the city as most of the committed petty crimes are drug-related.

The council will transmit the approved resolution to the RPOC-CAR for information, guidance and ready reference.

The PDEA-CAR reported that most of the city’s barangays had been cleared of the presence of illegal drugs while there are still a number of drug affected and drug-reaffixed based on the assessment of the regional anti-illegal drugs task force.

By Dexter A. See

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