THE City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) has been reactivated and its anti-drug operatives recalled after President Rodrigo Duterte directed the police back at the front lines of the administration's war on drugs.
Cocpo spokesperson Chief Inspector Mardy Hortillosa II said a counter-check will be made for CDEU members who were previously reassigned to other units to ensure they are not, in any way, involved in illegal drug activities.
The CDEU, composed of two 8-man teams, had been disbanded after Duterte handed over the sole power to conduct anti-drug operations to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) nearly two months ago.
"Ibalik na nato mga personnel sa CDEU pero i-subject gihapon nato sila sa counter-checking sa ilang record para masiguro nga dili sila involved sa drug activities (We will assemble again the personnel of CDEU but they will be subjected to counter-checking of their records to ensure that they are really not involved in illegal drug activities),"Hortillosa said.
"Mag depende pud sa atong city director kung dugangan ba ang personahe sa CDEU (It will depend on the city director if he will add more personnel to the CDEU)," Hortillosa added.
Hortillosa said the anti-drug teams of every police station will also be reassembled.
The Cocpo emphasized it is ready to take the lead again of the government's anti-illegal drug campaign as it aims to make the city free from illegal drugs.
But, Hortillosa said the Cocpo will wait for the implementing guidelines before carrying out all drug-related operations to avoid violating protocols.
"Di pami kasugod kay gahulat pami sa implementing guidelines kung unsay buhaton kay gumikan sa nahitabong irregularities nga gihimo sa ubang police sa kaulohan nadamay tanan kay siguro mi nga naay bag-ong guidelines (We can't start yet because we are still waiting for the guidelines on what or how to do the mandate because due to some irregularities committed by some policemen in Manila, the entire organization was affected)," Hortillosa said.
In the meantime, Cocpo is reviewing all records of drug personalities and their transactions in the city so operatives are well prepared in ending the illegal drug menace and in bringing drug players in courts.
Hortillosa said using body cameras during drug operations will help the police justify the legitimacy of the operations.
Hortillosa said the implementation of the war on drugs in the city is not deadly but he maintains that once the drug suspect fought back during the operation, the police will never think twice to use deadly force to pin them down.
On the other hand, he said, drug personalities who submit themselves to the authorities and signify their intent to shun illegal drugs will receive help from the government.
"Kung dili mo (drug personalities) moundang pasayloa lang mi nga kung during sa operation mosukol mo, amo pud paningohaon nga dili kami ang madisgrasya kay dili mi makonsensya kung mag cause ni sa inyong kinabuhi. Pero kung mo-surrender mo maningkamot sad mi nga matabangan mo," Hortillosa said.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 07, 2017.