780 drug pushers, users yield in Surigao Norte

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 09 July) – At least 780 persons who claimed to be pushers and users of illegal drugs have surrendered to the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Surigao del Norte since May 29, more than half since June 30, when Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte took his oath as the countty’s 16th President.

Police Sr. Supt., Enesto Flores told MindaNews that the suspects have promised to stop these illegal activities and vowed to turn a new leaf.

He said the 780 persons are from this city and 20 municipalities in Surigao del Norte, most of them from the towns of Placer and Socorro in Bucas Grande Islands.

Last Tuesday, four notorious drug pushers in General Luna also turned themselves in and promised before the municipal council that they would no longer sell prohibited drugs. Among the four are a former municipal councilor.

Flores said they urged those involved in illegal drugs in the province to surface voluntarily to local police units.

Flores, who assumed office last Monday after he replaced Police Supt. James Mejia who was relieved, expects the number to increase.

“This would definitely increase in the coming days. This 720 figure is as of 5:30 this afternoon,” he said on Friday. Sixty others from Bacuag also turned themselves in, for a total number of 780 persons.

“This campaign is part of our enhanced illegal drug reduction efforts,” Flores added.

Those who have pending warrants of arrest and would submit themselves to authorities will be considered to have surrendered voluntarily, he said.

The official said those who want to undergo drug rehabilitation will be assisted by the police in coordination with local stakeholders.

“We will provide them the necessary assistance to ensure their proper reintegration to our communities,” he said. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)