Police bust P5M illegal drugs in South Cotabato in 2014

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/23 January)– Police operatives in South Cotabato seized at least P5 million worth of illegal drugs in various operations last year within the province’s 10 towns and lone city.

Supt. George Parcon, public information officer of the South Cotabato Provincial Police Office, said Friday they launched a total of 136 anti-illegal drug operations in 2014 that led to the arrest of 171 suspected pushers and couriers.

He said these operations led to the recovery of 5,189 grams of marijuana and 344 grams of metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu that were valued at P5.132 million.

“That was one of the biggest illegal drug hauls that we made these past several years,” he said in a radio interview.

Parcon said they were able to file a total of 131 illegal drug-related cases in various local courts last year and all of them “have been progressing well.”

Among those charged was a barangay official of Banga town who was tagged as behind the distribution of illegal drugs in the area.

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes confirmed that several elected officials in the province were being monitored by local authorities due to their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade and other related activities.

Fuentes said the concerned officials were placed in the area’s drug watch list based on intelligence information gathered by local police units and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

She said some of these officials were supposedly involved directly in the selling of illegal drugs, specifically of shabu.

The provincial government has allocated around P3.6 million as support to the anti-drug operations this year of the South Cotabato police and the PDEA.

Board member Agustin Demaala Jr., action officer of the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council, said such allocation is up by P2.4 million compared to the P1.2 million last year.

He said the funds will be utilized for the cash reward, mobilization and assistance for the court appearances of anti-illegal drug operatives. (MindaNews)