GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 7 July) – Police operatives in South Cotabato recovered around P1.59 million worth of illegal drugs in various operations in parts of the province during the first half of the year.
Sr. Supt Franklin Alvero, South Cotabato police director, said Thursday they seized the illegal drugs in 130 buy-busts, applications of search warrants as well as on-the-spot and checkpoint operations from January to June.
He said the recovered items include 8.53 grams of marijuana and 212.63 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu valued at P1,594,785.
The operations resulted in the arrest of 244 drug personalities composed of 92 drug pushers, 7 users, and 145 pushers/users.
“We filed a total of 120 cases and these are currently progressing in various courts,” the police official said.
A total of 26 cases were filed in Koronadal City, 21 in Surallah, 18 in Polomolok, 12 in Sto. Niño, 11 in Tupi, five each in Tampakan and T’boli, four in Banga, three in Tantangan, and two each in Norala and Lake Sebu.
The Provincial Anti-Illegal Drug Special Operations Task Group (PAIDSOTG) of the South Cotabato Provincial Police Office filed nine cases.
In terms of drug recoveries, Alvero said the Koronadal City police station topped the list with P519,753 worth of marijuana and shabu, followed by the Surallah municipal police station with P302,809.50, PAIDSOTG with P291,141.75, and the Sto. Niño municipal police station with P195,369.75.
Alvero said their intensified anti-drug operations are ongoing in the entire province and they expect more drug recoveries in the coming months.
He said the move is mainly in support of the anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
Since last month, a total of 3,891 drug personalities – 3,626 drug users, 56 pushers, and 209 drug pushers/users – have surfaced and surrendered voluntarily to police officials in South Cotabato. A number of them were reportedly included in the drug watch list of local police units.
The Police Regional Office (PRO)-12 launched earlier this week its flagship anti-drug campaign dubbed Project DUTERTE, which stands for Drug Use and Trafficking Elimination through Rehabilitation, Training and Enforcement.
Project DUTERTE mainly “aims to bring to the fold of law those who are involved in the use and proliferation of illegal drugs.”
It will facilitate their rehabilitation through various programs in coordination with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, local government units and other concerned stakeholders.
The program includes skills enhancement and personality development trainings to help the beneficiaries secure jobs to support their families and divert them from illegal drug-related activities.