PORAC -- Mayor Condralito “Carling” de La Cruz and Vice Mayor Dexter David ordered a renewed campaign against illegal drugs resulting in the arrest of five alleged drug pushers during separate police operations here recently.

David, who speaks against illegal drugs during symposiums hosted by the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Pampanga Police Office, said “the mayor and I have made it our commitment to play a big part in helping eradicate prohibited drugs in Porac since we assumed our respective post in 2010.”

“Illegal drugs just don’t destroy people but the entire society and we must move now against it before it’s too late,” said de La Cruz in Kapampangan. He and David spoke with the five suspects at his office on June 1.

Superintendent Niel Miro, Porac town police chief, said that the suspects are all based in the town except a Pasig City-based notorious drug pusher who was arrested during a buy-bust operation on May 29. He identified him as Leonardo Lopez, 53, of Barangay Vioper Malinao, Pasig City.

“Lopez operates in Pasig and nearby areas in Metro Manila. He partnered with a local resident and they tried to sell drugs in Porac but were immediately neutralized,” said Miro.

He added that the Porac municipal government led by De La Cruz had ordered the police to launch an all-out campaign against illegal drugs as pushed by Governor Lilia Pineda and Vice Governor Dennis Pineda.

Miro said Lopez and his alleged cohort – machine operator Archie Canlas, 51, of Model Community, Pio, Porac – were caught in the act of selling one sachet of shabu or methamphetamine hydrochloride.

The police team led by deputy police chief Sr. Insp. Reynaldo Manganti, Jr. then confiscated five sachets of shabu and P500 marked money bill from Lopez. Canlas was also arrested with three sachets during the operation in Barangay Pulung Santol, here.

Both Canlas and Lopez denied selling shabu to a poseur buyer who gave them the marked bill.

“I was just asked by Canlas to drive him to Porac. I don’t even know our destination until we were arrested. I don’t sell drugs. I am just a driver,” said Lopez when asked for comment.

On May 31, the same team led by Manganti arrested three suspects during a buy-bust operation in Poblacion here.

The police identified the suspects as Carlo Hain, 43, of Poblacion, Jerry Lapid, 42, of Cangatba, Porac and Carlos Joseph Perez, 25, also of Poblacion.

“I admit I am a drug user but I don’t sell drugs. I was just sleeping at home when the police arrested me,” said Hain.

Miro said all the five suspects were charged with violating Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (Joey Pavia)