DAVAO City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte warned parents on Tuesday on the use of minors in the illegal drug trade in the city. The warning came days after the police raided a shabu tiangge in the city’s downtown area.

In his television program Tuesday, Duterte said he received information that drug dealers are now using minors as drug peddlers.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

"They have been utilized fully by the criminals making the child a potential criminal in the process. I warn the parents na pagbantay mo sa inyong mga anak kay mikusog ang druga (watch over your children because illegal drugs are proliferating)," Duterte said.

The former mayor for 18 years admitted that there is "a strong resurgence of drugs in the city and it's not limited in one area".

Duterte said the criminals have become “fearless” now. Thus he called on all concerned government agencies to take immediate and appropriate action to stop the resurgence of illegal drugs in the city.

He said his worry is that drug traders could have already established a drug laboratory as what they had done several years back. Duterte said he is still verifying this matter though and still could not confirm nor deny such.

Davao City was once the hotbed of illegal drugs in Eastern Mindanao being in the main route of illegal drug trade. The drug menace problem however lessened the past decade after series of summary executions targeted drug dealers and users in the city.

Last Saturday, police arrested 29 people in raids conducted in shabu markets in two barangays in the city. Senior Superintendent Generoso Bonifacio, chief of the Davao regional police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), started the raids in barangays 31-D and 76-A around 6 a.m.

Bonifacio said they were able to initially round up 24 suspected shabu runners, who were caught loitering around the barangays during the raid. Five drug dealers, four of them women, whose houses were subjects of search warrants were also arrested.

Another suspected drug dealer, identified only as alias Samad, was able to elude arrest. Bonifacio said the suspects' houses yielded several sachets of shabu with a street value of P500,000. Operatives also dug up a total of P21,000 cash from the suspected drug dealers' houses.

The raid was a product of months-long of monitoring, which was ordered by Vice-Mayor Rodrigo Duterte while he was still the city mayor.

In December 31, 2004, a shabu laboratory was discovered and raided by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Toril that resulted to the death of six foreigners said to be chemists and operators of the said laboratory. (Ben O. Tesiorna)