SENIOR Superintendent Jack Wanky, acting director of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), challenged the leaders and members of the local Muslim community to help the police in the campaign against illegal drugs.
He made the call during a press conference at the BCPO headquarters on Tuesday, following the series of apprehensions of their members in separate drug bust operations in the city in the past weeks.
The latest involved two suspects in the P1.05-million drug haul Monday afternoon at Libertad Market.
Rashed Tantua, 24, and Nelrose Salita, 24, a couple who owns 2K Cell Shop, were arrested along with their 19-year-old employee Aisah Million.
Tantua and the employee are members of the Muslim community based in Barangay 30.
Tantua, Salita, and Million were charged before the City Prosecutor's Office Tuesday, said Inspector Adrian James Albaytar, head of City Drug Enforcement Unit.
Charges for violations of Sections 5 (sale of dangerous drugs) and 11 (possession of dangerous drugs) of Republic Act 9165 or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 were filed against Tantua and Salita.
Million is facing charges for violation of Section 11.
They were considered street level target drug personalities.
All three suspects are detained at Police Station 6.
Last June 10, Samsodee Dimasangcai and cousin Asnia Mariga, as well as Dimasangcai’s three brothers were arrested in a drug bust at Purok Fatima, Barangay 31 that led to the recovery of illegal drug “shabu” amounting to P800,000.
Wanky said that station commanders have already talked to the Muslim community several times to ask for their cooperation, but they have not been provided information that could lead to the arrest of other drug personalities.
“I want to be vocal about this because this is a fact,” Wanky said, adding that several arrested drug suspects came from their community.
The police chief said the Muslims should also cooperate in the police’s anti-illegal drug drive to show their sincerity.
“It is high time for them to also show their support to the city government,” Wanky added.
For his part, Muslim religious leader Imam Omar Betita said in a text message to SunStar Bacolod that they are helping the police’s campaign against illegal drugs and against terrorism for Islam is peace.
Betita said they are closely coordinating with the police in a way that they can.
Moreover, Wanky reiterated the need to intensify security in all entry points in the city to prevent the entry of contraband items.
Wanky said the police are having close coordination with the Philippine Coast Guard to monitor all entry points.
“There is no problem in intelligence reporting, but we have to be very strict in monitoring all entry points,” he added.
Also, Wanky said he believes that transaction of illegal drugs also came from jails, based on the joint investigation and intelligence gathering of the BCPO and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-Negros Island Region (BJMP-NIR).
Senior Superintendent Alberto Balaug, director of BJMP-NIR, said on Tuesday, July 11, that there is an existence of illegal drug trade in jails even before he was assigned in the region.
“We are aware of it, that is why our main objective is total cleansing of all jails against all kinds of contrabands especially illegal drugs,” he said.
Balauag said illegal drugs are the biggest threat to security in jail facilities.