PDEA 8, PNP Leyte seek help in campaign against illegal drugs
By Rodrigo S. Victoria
Tacloban City (15 September) -- The heads of two law enforcement agencies that are now stepping up their campaign in containing the proliferation of illegal drug activities, appealed for help from the local legislators for an effective campaign and operation.
Regional Director Julius Navales of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 8 (PDEA) and Police Senior Inspector John Q. Sosito, Provincial Director of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Leyte province appeared on September 14, 2010, before the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Leyte asking for their help in their agencies' drive against illegal drugs in the region and in the province of Leyte.
The heads of PDEA 8 and PNP-Leyte also presented to the SP members a brief report of how far their respective agencies have achieved in their campaign against illegal drugs.
PSSupt Sosito gave some salient features in his report such as in Oplan Sangbanat that includes the supply and demand reduction drive and operation private eye where reward is given to informant.
He also disclosed that the province of Leyte is not considered as a drop-off point of the bricks of cocaine retrieved in the seawaters of Eastern Samar yet he still intensified his campaign on illegal drugs in the province.
The Leyte PNP chief appealed to the local legislators to exercise their oversight function in aid of legislation requiring secondary and tertiary students, employees of both the government and private sectors to undergo drug test since he saw it as an effective deterrent for people to engage in illegal drugs.
He likewise lamented on some procedural problems encountered by his men in the field in drug-related apprehensions and the lack of funds to finance for offenders having a penalty of six years and above to undergo drug testing.
For his part, Director Navales said that though his agency has done significant accomplishments in the campaign against illegal drugs in the region yet more has to be done to contain or to eradicate it in Eastern Visayas.
The PDEA 8 chief reported that his agency was able to recover and seized 535 kilograms of cocaine as of August this year, believed to be part of the significant number of bricks of cocaine dumped by a foreign vessel in the seawaters of Eastern Samar last December. Some were found and surrendered to PDEA 8 by some fishermen who found it floating in the sea.
The big accomplishment of PDEA 8 was made possible because of the creation of the agency's Task Force Samar Cocaine Bricks and the establishment of Oplan: Samar White.
He revealed PDEA has given already 259 sacks of rice to fishermen and some people in the community in Eastern Samar who reported and surrendered to their agency the bricks of cocaine they have found.
According to Director Navales the Agency gave one sack of rice for every brick of cocaine reported and surrendered to his office as a reward to informant. However, he said his agency lacks sufficient fund to sustain such reward system.
He presented some pressing concerns of the agency such as in the aspect of mobility because of the lack of vehicles and the corresponding fuels that will be used in their operations. He added that one of their three service vehicles was grounded due to an accident.
He also cited the lack of personnel of the agency because PDEA agents who posed as pusher-buyer will appear in court hearing where they will be exposed to the public and will now be easily identified by people engaged into the illegal drug trade. Director Navales reasoned out the more personnel they will have the more effective they will be in their operations.
Both heads of the law enforcement agencies have opined that the active involvement of the community and other stakeholders would be a great help in minimizing or in eradicating the illegal drug problem in the province of Leyte and in the region as a whole. (PIA 8) [top]