LINGAYEN, Pangasinan -- The fight against all forms of criminality, particularly the war on drugs, continues to gain remarkable headway in Pangasinan since July 1, 2016, according to the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office.
Pangasinan Acting Police Director Ronald Oliver Lee said this was achieved through continuous and aggressive implementation of focused police operations throughout the province for the past more than eight months.
In the war on drugs, he said there were 1,342 drug personalities already arrested, and 574.5 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu and 581 grams of marijuana seized valued at P8,772,501 based on Dangerous Drugs Board standard.
The war on drugs waged since the new administration took over spawned the surrender of 19,216 users and pushers in all six districts of the province.
More are expected to surrender as the police was already given the green light to resume its unfinished war on drugs, along with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The fifth district of Pangasinan topped in the number of surrenderees at 4,314, followed by the fourth district at 3,267, and the sixth district at 3,105.
Of those arrested, 8,009 or 25 percent of the 31,470 baseline targets surrendered through Oplan Tokhang.
As of March 12, 2017, a total of 1,062 barangays of the total 1,269 affected or 84 percent were already cleared throughout Pangasinan, Lee said.
There are now two towns already confirmed as drug-free: Sto. Tomas and Laoac, which won its drug-free status only on March 2.
Lee said the towns Natividad and Mabini are expected to be cleared in the next few days. All the needed papers for the two to be proclaimed as drug-free have already been complied with.
Lee added if the Philippine National Police had not laid low for a while in its anti-drug operations to allow it to effect some internal cleansing, it could now have cleared all the remaining 16 percent of still drug-affected barangays.
The Pangasinan police reported a total of 12.270 crimes committed from July 1, 2016 with the Dagupan City topping in crime volume at 1,733, followed by Mangaldan, 795; San Carlos City, 765, Urdaneta City, 590; Calasiao, 558; Malasiqui 552; and Lingayen, 510.
Lee said it is not surprising at all that Dagupan City leads in the number of crime incidents, most of which involve vehicular accidents, theft and physical injuries.
He said aside from being the most populous city in Pangasinan, Dagupan is also bursting with economic activities, which is the reason crime incidents naturally occur from time to time.
At the same time, the police arrested 190 persons for illegal possession of firearms and seized from them a total of 188 firearms of different types in 80 search warrant operations they conducted. (PNA)