Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Bicol police say 34,059 surrendered in July anti-drug campaign
By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 03 (PNA) -- The number of drug “personalities,” who have surrendered to local chief executives and police officials in the Bicol region reached 34,059 as of July 31 since the Police Regional Office (PRO5) launched its war against illegal drugs on July 1, the start of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

PRO5 Spokesperson Senior Insp. Ma.Luisa Calubaquib said the big number of surrenderees resulted from two police campaigns: “Oplan Double barrel,” a two-pronged operation targeting both the high-profile and “street level” drug suspects; and “Operation Tokhang,” a Visayan term that means to knock on the doors of drug suspects in neighborhoods.

She said that among the 34,059 surrenderees, 32,305 of them were users while 1,754 were pushers.

Calubaquib said lawmen were able to knock on the doors of 11,210 houses in the Bicol region from July 1-31 as part of Operation Tokhang.

She said Camarines Sur had the most number of surrenderees at 11,654, followed by Albay with 9,649, Camarine Norte-5,041, Masbate-2,874, Sorsogon-2,072, Catanduanes 1,238 and Naga City-1,531. The latter, which is in Camarines Sur, is separately listed from the six Bicol provinces by PRO5.

PRO5 records in July showed the drug war in Bicol had resulted in the killing of 19 drug personalities and the arrest of 226 suspects involved in the drug trade. Lawmen recovered 780 plastic sachets of shabu during the same month.

Meanwhile, Arnel Garcia, director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Bicol, has asked PRO5 for the number of minors among the more than 30,000 surrenderees.

He said DSWD plans to conduct an “intervention” for the minors engaged in illegal drug activities.

PRO5 data in July showed there were 508 minors, aged 15 to 18 years old, from among the surrenderees, 492 of whom were boys and 16 girls.

By provinces, the number of minors who surrendered were: Camarines Sur-215 (210 boys, 5 girls); Camarines Norte-78 (76 boys, 2 girls); Masbate 70 (66 boys, 4 girls); Catanduanes-38 (all boys); Sorsogon-13 (10 boys, 3 girls; Albay-18 (all boys).

In Naga City, the number of minors who surrendered was recorded at 76 (74 boys, 2 girls). (PNA) LAM/GVR/JH/CBD