PDEA says many teachers in 3 cities might be in drug trade

Rene Orbe, PDEA Region 12 director, said they received reports that illegal drug syndicates have allegedly tapped several teachers as distributors in an effort to penetrate the local schools and their students.

"We have been monitoring several teachers in General Santos City, Polomolok and Koronadal," he said in an interview over the Radio Mindanao Network.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Cotabato and Kidapawan.

Orbe said most of these teachers that landed on their watch list are allegedly involved in the selling of marijuana, which he cited as the top illegal drug being distributed in the region.

He did not provide further the specific details regarding the activities of the teachers who were supposedly doubling as illegal drug peddlers but cited that their operatives are already working on their tracks.

Allan Farnazo, assistant director of the Department of Education (DepEd) Region 12, said the PDEA’s revelation surprised them.

He said the report is very disturbing for DepEd as it would tarnish their image as educators and role models for their students.

"This is already drug selling so the effect is very crucial and quite big. If indeed there are teachers who are involved in these illegal activities, I will personally volunteer to PDEA to help unmask and arrest these people," the education official said.

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said she has yet to receive an official report from PDEA about the matter but cited that it did not surprise her.

"It just shows the extent of our problem in terms of illegal drugs and it's very alarming," said the governor, who had pushed for the allocation of a regular funding support from the provincial government for anti-drug operations in the province.

Fuentes said she would confer the matter with officials of the province's anti-drug council so they can properly set some strategies to help combat the problem.

"These teachers, if they are indeed involved, should be arrested and charged in court and eventually be dismissed from their jobs," she added. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)