GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/30 November) – Police and government anti-drug personnel in nearby Koronadal City in South Cotabato have intensified their monitoring against the possible surge of drug trafficking activities in the area during the Christmas season.
Supt. Aniceto Ambay, Koronadal City police chief, said Tuesday they have deployed additional personnel in various strategic areas in the city to monitor the movements of suspected illegal drug couriers and traders, who reportedly become more active during the Christmas holidays.
“The trend shows that drug trafficking cases and activities usually increase during the Christmas season as most people, especially the prospective drug clients, have more than enough money than the usual or ordinary days of the year,” he said.
The police official urged residents to carefully plan or rationalize the spending of their extra bonuses and other holiday-related financial benefits and not to patronize the activities of illegal drug traders.
He warned that most illegal drug traders, couriers and peddlers are usually more aggressive in making their moves and would target parties and other scheduled holiday gatherings.
Ambay advised parents to carefully monitor the private parties and other related activities their children would attend as some of these turn out to be drug sessions.
“The important thing is for all of us to be more vigilant so we can eventually eliminate this menace from our communities,” he said.
Ambay said their records showed that the reported drug-related activities and cases in the city has slowed down during the past several months due to their intensified monitoring and crackdown launched in the area.
He said they recorded five raids and buy-bust operations each in the months of May and July but the figures declined to just one in August and two each in the months of September and November.
Ambay said they already filed appropriate charges against all the suspects who were arrested during their previous operations.
“Based on our monitoring, the illegal drug traffickers have toned down with their activities because of our intensified operations. This is still ongoing and we’re not slowing down until we effectively address this problem,” he said.
Intelligence Officer Jose Esparcia, legal division head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Region 12, acknowledged that drug-related activities in the area have so far slowed down due to the continuing crackdown launched by the agency and local police units.
“One of the major factors that helped illegal drug activities to wane in Koronadal was the vigilance and cooperation of local communities and their officials,” he said.
During the past months, Esparcia said they received numerous “positive information” from concerned local residents that had led to successful raids and arrest of the suspects. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)