AT LEAST 11 trisikad and motorcycle drivers in Barangay Poblacion Pardo, Cebu City tested positive for drugs in a surprise test by the City Office on Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap).
Cosap tested 139 drivers last Saturday upon the request of Poblacion Pardo Barangay Captain Althea Lim.
In an interview, Lim said she had the drivers tested because she had received complaints from constituents that some drivers have been using illegal drugs.
She also wants to know who among them are from Poblacion Pardo and from the nearby Barangay Cogon Pardo. She learned that at least 80 percent of them are from the neighboring village.
Lim said she consulted the drivers if they were willing to get tested and was happy to learn they were up for it.
“Wa ko nag-expect nga daghan-daghan sila. Ganahan sila magpa-drug test kay ang uban man gud lahi na ang panan-aw nila. Morag i-generalize sa mga tawo ba nga tig-gamiton silang tanan, which is di mao. (I didn’t expect many of them would get tested. They said they also wanted to address the generalization that all drivers use drugs, which is not true.) It would be very unfair for others who tested negative,” she said.
Lim said, though, that there were some 30 drivers who did not participate in the drug test, which was not mandatory.
Asked what will happen to those who tested positive, Lim said they will still be allowed to drive but barangay officials will monitor them.
“We will not condemn them. Lisud man gud ug atong kuhaan ug panginabuhi. Ang ila nag-gamit sila kay gabii ilang byahe (We can’t deprive them of their livelihood. Some use drugs so they can work all night),” she said.
The village chief added that those who tested positive will be offered a chance to join the City Government’s rehabilitation program.
Half a sack
Meanwhile, eight persons were arrested after being caught having a pot session inside a drug den in Purok Balanghoy, Barangay Gun-ob in Lapu-Lapu City.
Officials of Lapu-Lapu’s Police Station 3 confiscated half a sack of drug paraphernalia from the suspects’ possession after an operation was conducted around 5 p.m. last Monday.
Police Senior Insp. Wilbert Parilla, chief of Police Station 3, said that four days before the operation, they arrested a drug suspect, who told them about the drug activity in the area.
The persons arrested were Carlos Suarez, 53; Christopher Laguido, 33; Jerome Itang, 26; and Severino Tampus, 36, who are all residents of Purok Balanghoy.
The other suspects were Achilles Calubiran, 38, a worker of a forwarding company and a resident of Deca Homes 3 in Barangay Basak; Rey Taneo, 38, a security guard from Barangay Buaya; Erwin Montero, 19, a resident from Purok Yellow Bell in Barangay Looc; and Ricky Ochea, 36, a resident of Barangay Suba-basbas.
Suarez allegedly owns the drug den, which Parilla said was not more than 100 meters from Police Station 3.
He asked his personnel to check the area.
After police officers confirmed that a drug den was operating in Purok Balanghoy, Parilla sent a team to arrest the suspects.
Suarez will be charged with violating Sections 6 and 12, Article 2 of Republic Act 9165, also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, for maintaining a drug den and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Calubiran, Taneo, Montero and Ochea will face charges for allegedly violating Section 7 by visiting the drug den.
Laguido, Itang and Tampus will also be charged with violating Section 12, after drug paraphernalia were taken from their possession.
All the suspects were detained while waiting for the cases against them to be filed.