PDEA Bicol gears for volume-oriented drive vs illegal drugs

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Shabu crystals seized by government anti-narcotics agents. - PDEA photo / FILE
Shabu crystals seized by government anti-narcotics agents. – PDEA photo

By Alfredo L. Vargas

LEGAZPI CITY (8-Jan-2013/PNA) – Anti-narcotics campaign in Bicol will be more concentrated on cutting the supply of illegal drugs in the region starting this year, on orders of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Arturo Cacdac Jr., through what the agency termed as “volume-oriented” buy-bust, search and seizure operations.

Big-time drug dealers and those in the list of PDEA national targets are the focus of surveillance, case building and entrapment operations in an effort to freeze supply of drugs and their distribution across the region.

“When there is no supply or less is available, there would be nothing or lesser to peddle,” said PDEA Bicol Director Archie Grande.

Grande said this scheme of operations is also in response to Malacañang’s pronouncement the other day, which prompted the police and concerned law enforcement agencies to carry out extensive campaign against illegal drugs following the Kawit, Cavite shooting rampage by a drugged assailant that instantly killed eight people and wounded nine others.

PDEA Bicol has actually started its volume-oriented operations in December last year, right after the conduct of the Annual General Inspection (AGI) by a team from its national headquarters, he said.

Bicol was one of the two AGI sites in Luzon in 2012.

After the AGI, the PDEA regional special enforcement team (RSET) arrested a male big-time drug dealer listed as a national target operating in Tabaco City.

This was followed by successive arrests of two female main distributors, both from Barangay Oro Site, this city, from whom the PDEA seized P330,000 and P150,000 worth of shabu.

The two were charged without bail recommended.

He said the need for immediate identification and analysis of the type and amount of drugs seized in during operations has been set in place by the hiring of a chemist detailed at the PDEA regional office at Camp Gen. Simeon Ola in this city last December, along with additional laboratory staff.

New agents have also been hired during the same period.

Grande proposed to the Philippine Ports Authority last week to put up PDEA stations in major ports in Bicol in an effort to intercept possible transport of drugs to and from the Visayas and Mindanao areas.

A proposal has also been sent to Cacdac for the deployment of a PDEA team in Quezon province to intercept possible transport of illegal drugs to and from Manila and other areas in Luzon.

In the absence of an office in the area, Grande pledged that Quezon operatives will be adopted by his team detailed in the adjacent Camarines Norte province.

It will be recalled that on the second week of December, some 10 kilos of shabu placed in gift boxes were recovered from the car of ambushed drug personalities in Quezon where one of the killers was arrested later on that day in the adjacent Santa Elena, Camarines Norte.

The car was later confirmed bound for Del Gallego, Camarines Sur.

Grande has repeatedly assured there is no existing full-scale shabu laboratory in Bicol and that the region is one of the biggest transshipment point of illegal drugs, being a gateway to the Visayas and Mindanao and accessible via land transport from Manila and other Luzon areas.

“We have to build an arsenal of support from other government offices and the public and strengthen interoperability with other law enforcement agencies in order to curb, if not totally eradicate, drug supply in the region,” he added.(PNA)

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