Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Camarines Sur solon raises alarm over spate of killings
By John Mark Escandor

NAGA CITY, Aug. 8 (PNA) -- Amid the spate of killings of suspected drug pushers and users, a neophyte congressman from Camarines Sur raised the alarm and sought protection for the innocent.

Camarines Sur third district Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr. appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte and the legal minds in Congress to put in place systems and mechanisms that could protect the innocent and helpless.

“The spate of killings in recent days have triggered pained and alarmed reactions from various sectors,” he said.

“In fact, in the House, I was riveted to the compelling discourses on the matter. There is a need, I believe, to raise the alarm...,” he added.

Bordado acknowledged how the drug menace has been “systematically destroying the very foundation of our nation and by all means the President must be supported to nip the menace in the bud."

He said putting in place mechanisms to protect the civil rights of every Filipino will not affect the momentum in the current all-out war against illegal drugs.

Bordado said he even rejoiced when the President declared “his firm resolve to intensify the crusade against the purveyors of illegal drugs” during his first State of the Nation Address on June 30.

In Camarines Sur, a suspected drug pusher was killed August 2 in Iriga City, said Senior Supt. Walfredo Pornillos, police provincial director.

The incident was the most recent record of a shootout during a buy bust operation as alleged by arresting lawmen that occurred during the first days of the month.

He said police operatives were conducting a buy-bust operation against drug suspect Nicholas Morallo in his house at San Antonio Subdivision, Barangay San Roque in Iriga City.

Pornillos said Morallo, who was listed number 2 in the drug watchlist, resisted arrest and drew a gun when the police operatives arrested him at 5:30 a.m.

“Morallos was immediately brought to Lourdes Hospital but he was declared dead on arrival by an attending physician,” added Pornillos.

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, a report of PRO5 said last week.

PRO5 spokesperson Malou Calubaquib 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, a Visayan term that means to knock on doors.

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 the illegal drug shabu during the same month. (PNA) LAP/GVR/JME/CBD