All-out war vs. drugs launched

Both the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency have mobilized all their units and ally agencies to purge Bohol from the illegal drugs trade.

Heeding the call of Governor Edgar Chatto to zero in on illegal drugs as the root of all evils in the community, Police Provincial Director Constantino Barot Jr. and PDEA-7 Regional Director Jigger Montallana warned drug personalities that more aggressive operations have been set.

Montallana said that for the meantime, their agents in Bohol are occupying the old PDEA office at K of C Drive along Gallares St. in Tagbilaran City.

He said they would be transferring to Camp Dagohoy, as offered by the governor and Barot, once the renovation of the administration building of the Bohol Police Provincial Office will be done.

He agrees that the PDEA office needs to be located near the BPPO for prompt coordination in undertaking operations.

Montallana also proposed to put K-9 units in all ports of entry in Bohol and even in the islands to block all transshipment points of illegal drugs from other provinces.

On this, Governor Chatto assured Montallana that the provincial government is willing to allocate funds to acquire K-9 units if needed just to secure all the areas of Bohol from the illegal drugs trade.

The Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry also expressed full support and assured full cooperation to the plan of action that authorities have designed against illegal drugs.

The problem on illegal drugs had been lengthily discussed during the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) meeting in Antequera on January 11.

During the meeting, Panglao Councilor Walter Sultan disclosed that the town mayor’s intelligence fund last year has remained intact when, in fact, it could have been put to good use if allocated for information gathering regarding the activities of drug personalities in their town.

For his part, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Brigido Imboy-chair of the Committee on Peace and Order-reported during the PPOC meeting that based on a surveillance report regarding illegal drugs, the islands of Cabul-an in the town of Buenavista and Pandanon in Getafe have been made transshipment points of illegal drugs.

Montallana assured that they will include the islands in the list of priority areas of focus as the governor also understood that what Imboy reported is just an indication that the supply of shabu unloaded in the islands are brought to mainland Bohol.

Montallana also reported that in Cebu, they conduct trainors’ training on anti-drugs campaign and Governor Gwen Garcia has also been supportive of their plan of action in constricting all ports in the province.

He said they can do it here in Bohol, considering that 13,600 passengers and 14 airline carriers go in and out of Central Visayas a day and the bulk of illegal drugs supply getting in the province came from Cebu.

Montallana explained that they have to be strategic in prioritizing the high-value targets to maximize their limited manpower of only 1,000 nationwide and only three of them are in Bohol, although they are training 200 more agents to fully undertake the operations against drug personalities.

The BCCI is also pushing for the resumption of information drive against drug abuse in the campuses.

Col. John Bonafos, commander of the 802nd Infantry Brigade, also assured to help PDEA in the fight against illegal drugs since there is no more insurgency in the province that used to take much of their time.

Bonafos said they will coordinate with the Philippine Coast Guard in securing the ports of entry.


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