Saturday, September 22, 2018

Agencies vs. illegal drugs meet

LAW enforcement units and other government agencies in Central Visayas convened yesterday for the first time to discuss the continuing problem on illegal drugs.

The Regional Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs Coordinating Group (RICG), chaired by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 7 Director Wardley Getalla, intends to disrupt the drug supply lines. The meeting was held at the Department of the Interior and Local Government 7 office in Cebu City.

Police Regional Office 7 Director Debold Sinas, who was in the meeting, said the coastal village of Tangke in Talisay City is one of the barangays where the supply of illegal drugs were being shipped into.

He had deployed personnel of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion to disrupt illegal activities, including drug trafficking, in Tangke.

Sinas said there are other villages where big-time drug personalities drop their supplies to their underlings.

The RICG also discussed that some drug personalities smuggled their supplies through parcels of cargo forwarding companies. The group still has to find measures to prevent this.

Sinas agreed with President Rodrigo Duterte who said last Tuesday that illegal drugs is still a problem despite the big-time operations in the past two years.

“Everybody recognized the problem,” he said.

Sinas said they will still conduct surprise searches in jails run by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) 7.

He said some inmates, who are facing drug cases, still continue their transactions using their cell phones. Stronger signal jammers, he said, are expected to be installed.

Some government agencies present were the National Bureau of Investigation 7, BJMP 7, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, Department of Justice, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Customs, Cebu Ports Authority and the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Central Command.

The inter-agency group was created by Executive Order 15 in March last year to address the drug problem efficiently by involving different government agencies.

The order divided the members into four clusters: enforcement, justice, advocacy, and rehabilitation and reintegration.

They are required to meet regularly, with each member submitting periodic reports to their cluster heads, who then report to the president. (KAL)