KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/15 July) — Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) have waged an “all-out war” against drug traffickers in North Cotabato.
The law enforcers chose the town of Kabacan, a first class municipality in North Cotabato, as the venue for launching of the campaign last Saturday.
PDEA-12 regional director Aileen Lovitos said that based on intelligence data, Purok Krislam is one of the areas in Kabacan town which is considered a den of suspected drug users and pushers.
“This is the reason why we’re here to convince you to help the police and the PDEA curb this menace,” she said.
Sr. Supt. Cornelio Salinas, provincial police chief, said that for the war against illegal drugs to succeed, they need the support of the community.
In Purok Krislam, Salinas said, the police could not get any information as to those involved in the drug trade. “There’s apathy in this place. Isn’t it an indicator that there’s a collusion of these people not to tell the police any information as regards illegal drugs?” he asked.
“The war has to end… our generation of leaders today wants this war to end. Help us finish this war,” Salinas urged the community in Purok Krislam.
“Krislam” is a combination of “Kristiyano-Islam,” an indication the Purok has a mixed population.
Salinas said Kabacan serves as the delivery destination for shabu coming from nearby towns in Maguindanao and Cotabato City.
“So, to lessen or get rid of the supply of shabu, let’s all help do away with the demand. Convince your friends to stop using shabu,” Salinas said.
Since May, the police and PDEA operatives in North Cotabato have arrested at least 20 persons believed to be involved in the illegal drugs trade, most of them from Kabacan.
Of those arrested and charged, two were children and five were women.
Thes two children, according to the Kabacan police, are also from Purok Krislam.
“The syndicates behind this drug trade are now into using children because they know it’s so difficult to prosecute them,” he said.
“We all must help save our children, young men and women, so let’s support this war,” Salinas said. (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)