Friday, July 19, 2019

P275M drugs seized in Central Visayas in 2018

THE Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 operatives seized P275 million worth of illegal drugs in 6,469 operations in Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor in the past year.

Operatives seized 40.5 kilos of shabu after the arrest of 9,395 drug personalities from Dec. 5, 2017 until Nov. 30, 2018. They also uprooted 286 kilos of marijuana plants and seized 23 ecstasy tablets this year.

PRO 7 Director Debold Sinas said 76 pushers died after they resisted arrest this year. In 2017, police recorded 87 deaths.

Sinas said the operations that resulted in 163 deaths in the past 23 months were all legitimate, adding that his personnel only defended themselves.

PRO 7 became controversial after Sinas was appointed as the Central Visayas police chief last June as several killings happened.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña accused the police of being involved in some killings, which some religious and civil rights groups condemned. For his part, Sinas denied the police were involved in extra-judicial killings.

In the first six months of his term, Sinas said police seized 25 kilos of shabu, or 61.7 percent of the 40.5 kilos seized in the last 12 months. Most of the illegal drugs seized came from Cebu City.

“You know the recovery of drugs only shows that we have intensified (our campaign) and we are targeting high-value (targets). We refrain from arresting those small-time players; I’ve been insisting on it,” Sinas said.

The police official further said that more than 12,000 uniformed personnel of PRO 7 had undergone drug testing. Only seven tested positive for drug use and they are now facing administrative charges.

He further said 32 of his personnel were charged for their involvement in the illegal drug trade. Seven officers were proven guilty, resulting in their dismissal from the service.

Investigators have resolved the cases of 22 other officers, and they await the final decision of the reviewing officers. Only three police officers are facing investigation.

In PRO 7’s internal cleansing campaign, Sinas said 52 of 68 erring police officers had been charged with administrative offenses, 15 were suspended, 10 were dismissed, and 40 are under investigation, including the three officers who were involved in the accidental shooting of SPO1 Roderick Balili.

Balili’s name was first floated by Osmeña as the cop wounded by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 7 agent Von Rian Tecson, who was ambushed in Carcar City last Aug. 8. Tecson reportedly returned fire at his assailant.

In earlier reports, Sinas said that Balili was with his team conducting a surveillance on an elusive drug personality in Pinamungajan town on the same day Tecson was killed.

The PRO 7 also received reports that five applicants for Police Officer 1 were involved in illegal drugs after the identities of all aspirants were published in newspapers and tarpaulins. KAL


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