AT LEAST 168 drug personalities allegedly operating in the Cordillera Administrative Region are under the target and watch list by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
In a report to the Regional Development and Peace and Order Council (RDC-RPOC) during its first quarter meeting in Bontoc, Mountain Province, PDEA Cordillera listed 72 drug personalities in Baguio City, the highest number in the region.
Baguio is followed by Abra with 51, Benguet with 22, Kalinga with 19, Mountain Province with two, and one each in the provinces of Ifugao and Apayao.
From January 1 to present, PDEA, the Police Regional Office in the Cordillera (PRO-Cor) and other law enforcement agencies conducted 246 operations which resulted in the arrest of 45 drug personalities, seizure of dangerous drugs amounting to P37.9 million and the filing of 62 cases of violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
In its report, it listed methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, as the leading drug of choice in the region followed by cannabis or marijuana.
PDEA added that despite the absence of clandestine laboratory for shabu in the region, tactical interview of arrested drug personalities disclosed the supply entering Cordillera comes from the National Capital Region and Calabarzon (Region IV–A) passing through major entry points in the region using public utility buses and private vehicles rented or owned by drug personalities.
Marijuana products, on the other hand, come from the areas of Tinglayan, Kalinga and Kibungan in Benguet Province with connivance from local drug personalities allegedly smuggling out marijuana in different forms to some parts of Luzon through the use of major highways in the province of Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province and Benguet as their major route or exit points.
PDEA Cordillera noted marijuana hashish and oil were allegedly processed in the areas of Tinglayan, Kalinga while marijuana plants are reaped, dried, compacted into brick form and discreetly transported outside the region.
At present, the monitored street price of shabu in the region as of February 2019 is P6,250 per gram while marijuana costs P125 per gram and P7,666 per kilo.
Of the 1,176 barangays in the region, 359 remained unaffected by drugs.
A total of 739 barangays have been cleared while 40 were reverted back as drug affected as of March 2018.