ONLY 21% ARE DRUG-FREE
7,578 surrendered, 4,921 houses covered, 14 dead
THE Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPPO) has identified 1,074 or 78.74% of the total 1,364 barangays (villages) in the province to be drug-affected.
This was bared by Acting-Provincial Director P/Senior Superintendent Ronald Lee, during the first Provincial Anti-Drug Advisory Council (PADAC).
PPPO also tallied 7,578 drug personalities who surrendered to local government units from July 1 to 28.
So far, of the 4,794 drug personalities that were processed, 274 are confirmed pushers, 2,626 users, 1,788 pushers/users, and 106 runners, said Lee.
Lee attributed the voluntary mass surrender of rug users/pushers across Pangasinan to the Project Tokhang (knock and plead) or the Lower Barrel Approach of the PNP.
About 4,921 houses have been visited and ‘knocked on’ and out of which 276 drug pushers have voluntarily surrendered.
The 172 anti-illegal drugs operations launched by Pangasinan police resulted in the arrests of 10 top drug personalities, 30 drug personalities in the watch list, and 151 ‘newly-emerged’ drug personalities.
Confiscation were 203.5263 grams of shabu and 27.71 grams of marijuana.
“With our intention to stop illegal drugs across the province of Pangasinan, it is inevitable to engage in armed encounter with drug personalities during police operations,” Lee said.
The police had launched 14 armed encounters with 16 drug personalities and 21 shooting incidents that resulted in the deaths of 22 identified drug personalities.
Six bodies of suspected drug pushers were found evidently executed by unknown groups were also found, Lee added in his report.
Lee informed the PADAC meeting that Pangasinan is being considered as the pilot project focused on barangay clearing operations.
Meanwhile, Regional Director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Jeoffrey Tacio, said shabu, which mostly come from the National Capital Region and Cavite, is still the widely-used illegal drug in the region followed by marijuana which are commonly found in the tri-boundaries of Ilocos, Benguet, and La Union provinces.
Tacio, also PADAC vice chairperson, said hotspots for illegal drugs in the region include Barangay Bonuan Binloc in Dagupan City.
PDEA has identified 32 drug groups operating in the region, 16 are in Pangasinan, he said.
And as of July 28, 2016, there are already 13,764 self-confessed drug users and pushers in the region that surrendered and almost half are from Pangasinan.
Tacio told the meeting that the major challenges in the drug campaign are the difficulty in securing search warrants and the meager budget with which it has to operate which includes the cash incentives for informants.
By virtue of Executive Order No. 00802016, signed by Gov. Espino last July 25, other PADAC officials and members include Vice Gov. Jose Ferdinand Calimlim Jr. as executive director; and the Liga ng mga Barangay provincial president, Provincial Legal Officer, Provincial Health Officer, Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator, Provincial Information Officer, the Provincial Director of the Philippine National Police, the Provincial Director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Provincial Schools Division Superintendent of Divisions Pangasinan 1 and 2, the Provincial Prosecutor, the Church/Pastoral Council, and a non-government organization as members. (Johanne Macob/Tita Roces)