PLACER, Surigao del Norte (MindaNews/05 August) — Only seven people involved in the sale of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu are left in this town, the local police chief said Friday.
“We know who are these persons. We are doing our best and hoping that this third week of August we can be declared a drug-free community,” Chief Inspector Manolito D. Parazo told MindaNews.
Parazo said they did everything to eliminate the remaining seven persons but some of these suspects have eluded authorities and have reportedly stopped engaging in the drug trade.
He said the barangay chairs of the town will be declaring their community this month as drug-free.
“We want them to surrender or better arrested if they are caught engaging [in illegal drugs],” he said.
Before Rodrigo R. Duterte was sworn into office as president last June 30 Parazo was able to convince almost 50 drug suspects in the town to surrender. The number increased after Duterte took office.
Parazo said 450 had surrendered and police have arrested 34 suspected drug pushers since he assumed office on Nov. 13 last year. One suspected pusher was killed for allegedly resisting arrest.
“Naghintay na lang tayo na maubos talaga itong mga drug personalities sa lungsod which I believe until next week nalang,” he said.
He added supplies of shabu came from Claver town and Surigao City.
Mayor Micheal Jose P. Patiño said he is hoping Placer will be declared as the first drug-free town in the province.
“Right now it is hard to buy shabu in the town of Placer. Try to go around the town and ask where to buy it. I want to maintain this because this is what I promised to the people during election campaign,” Patiño said. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)