AN OFFICIAL of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agent (PDEA)-Davao expressed apprehension about the safety of its agents as its most operated areas in Davao City are classified as high-risk for coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
PDEA-Davao Assistant Regional Director Lawyer Ben Joseph Tesiorna, in a virtual presser on Thursday afternoon, June 4, bared the barangays that they recorded most of their apprehended drug suspects.
These barangays are Barangay Buhangin, 76-A, Task Force Lasang, Agdao, TF Sirawan/31-D, Leon Garcia, Sasa, Ilang, R. Castillo and Matina.
It can be recalled that the City Government of Davao placed Buhangin Proper and Leon Garcia as very high risk due to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in their area.
Due to the risk of contracting the viral disease during their operation in the areas, Tesiorna said that they imposed precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their personnel.
“Maybe what we can do, dili siguro mi, as much as possible, dili mi mosulod 'tong barangays (we will not enter the barangays) which have been declared as high-risk barangays,” Tesiorna said.
He added, “But we will try to arrest these persons kon naa sila sa gawas because mas less risky para namo kay kon mosulod man gud mi sa barangay, wala ta kabalo who among those people there are Covid-positive (if they are outside their barangay to lessen the risk on our part because if we will push our operation inside we don’t know who among those people are infected).”
Tesiorna said they will just create a strategy to apprehend the drug suspects when they are outside their barangay.
“But if we will be given no other choice, lusobon nalang namo after ana mangaligo anlang mi human sa operations (we will conduct operation and take a bath after the operation),” he further said.
During the almost three months quarantine in Davao Region, Tesiorna said they conducted only seven drug operations and most of the anti-drug operations are carried out by the Philippine National Police (PNP)
“The reason why limited ang operation namo, puno ang among jail facility and we do not want to take the risk of mixing those recently arrested with the detainees to our jail facility to prevent contamination,” Tesiorna said.
He added that they have already tested their detainees and jail guards through the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) and all of them tested negative for Sars-CoV-2, the pathogen causing Covid-19.
With this, they are hoping to transfer the custody to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) to decongest their jail facility so they can resume operation.