OPERATIONS of the four big-time drug syndicates in Central Visayas have been crippled by the continuous anti-drug campaign of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 since Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas took over last year.
With members of self-confessed drug lord Franz Sabalones’ group going out of the picture, the PRO 7 had turned its eyes on the Ygot drug group led by Rustico Ygot, the Kuratong Baleleng drug group in Mandaue City, the Talisay drug syndicate and a drug syndicate in Cebu City that reportedly operates inside the Cebu City Jail.
The Ygot drug group whose leader has been incarcerated at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City can no longer supply illegal drugs after Jocelyn Encila, his live-in partner, was arrested with P190 million worth of shabu.
Several members of the Kuratong Baleleng group in Mandaue City who came from Ozamiz City in Mindanao had also been killed and so had prominent drug personalities in Talisay City who reportedly belonged to a big-time drug syndicate.
“As per our records, we’re so happy to announce... we have neutralized four drug syndicates here. These are new groups and one of them is the Ygot syndicate. We have also one in Mandaue, whose members are remnants of the Kuratong Baleleng,” Sinas said in Cebuano.
From July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019, the PRO 7 seized P1.2 billion worth of illegal drugs.
This is the biggest amount of illegal drugs confiscated in the history of the PRO 7 since President Rodrigo Duterte waged an all-out war against criminality when he assumed office in 2016.
During this period, the PRO 7 seized more than 130 kilos of shabu, 392 kilos of marijuana and 431 ecstasy pills. It also arrested 4,354 drug users and 5,255 drug pushers in 7,152 anti-drug operations. They’ve all been charged in court.
Sinas noted that of the 9,609 drug personalities they arrested, 9,226 were not on their target list and were new to the drug scene.
Some 109 were also killed and four police officiers were wounded.
Of the seven police offices in Central Visayas, the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) had the largest haul of 89.916 kilos of shabu with an estimated worth of P691,479,930. It was followed by the Cebu Provincial Police Office, which seized P185.4 million of drugs; the Negros Oriental Police Office, which seized P32.2 million; the Bohol Provincial Police Office, which seized P28.8 million; and the Mandaue City Police Office, which seized P11.3 million.
The recent arrests and seizures of more than two kilos of shabu in Cebu City and Cebu Province were not included on the list.
Because of these achievements, the PRO 7 bested the other police regional offices in the country to emerge on top.
“I am happy to note, if I’m not mistaken, this is the highest in the PNP (Philippine National Police) nationwide, comparing different PROs. Of course, we could not compete with the PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) and the PDEG (Philippine Drug Enforcement Group), but if you will see for PROs to PROs, I’m very proud to announce unless otherwise proven. Pero gitan-aw nako sa matag (But I’ve looked at every) presentation, we have a very high recovery of illegal drugs in our area,” Sinas said.
And with the CCPO confiscating the largest amount of drugs in the region only meant that Cebu City is home to many shabu and marijuana users, he said.
“It means na (in) Central Visayas, Cebu Island itself is really the next very big market for shabu and marijuana. Bisan daghan mi nadakpan daghan gihapon manulod (Even though we’ve arrested many persons, new drug personalities continue to crop up),” Sinas said.
The close to 150 kilos of shabu the PRO 7 seized in the last year are in the custody of the PNP Crime Laboratory. Only the court can order their destruction.
Sinas assured that these evidences would not be recycled since they are stored in another police unit. (from AYB of SuperBalita/PJB)