THE Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) regional director here has said that their investigations show that the area along Quezon Boulevard could be a shipment point of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) because the seized samples during a raid were high-grade and apparently still undiluted.

As has been revealed by narcotics agents through the years, when the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency was still known as the Narcotics Command or Narcom, drug pushers craving for even greater earnings are not above mixing their white crystals with some other white crystals like "tawas" or alum or worse, "Albatross" that white block of crystalline bathroom deodorizer or napthalene balls. In this way, they get more money for their shabu supply.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

That the shabu seized were still in their untouched form meant the supply chain from the source isn't that long. The longer the distance from the source, the more likely illegal drugs would be adulterated with cheap crystals since there is the greater risk of being caught or being hijacked.

We can console our self with the statement of CIDG 11 director Generoso Bonifacio when he assured Dabawenyos that the illegal drug organization here is not a big one. But we will be fooling ourselves if we continue to believe that it will remain small. The supplies keep coming in trickles, that means, there is a market being sustained and developed here, and at P10,000 to P12,000 per gram, the business will always be enticing.

"Basta ang alam natin is yung drugs did not come from the city, it came from Cotabato city," he said. We've also heard that before, way back when no less than erstwhile Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte named a Central Mindanao mayor as behind the shabu shipments here several years back.

Recalling revelations and interviews and off-the-record statements of past narcotics agents and officials way back when PDEA was still known as Narcom, one question demands to be answered: Mabini-Boulevard and Barangay 31-D have long been identified as the sanctuary of illegal drug peddlers and pushers, why does it exist until today?

With no explanation given as to why there was suddenly a raid and why such a raid happened only now, after more than two decades, can only stir up suspicions of some people in authority having a hand in protecting this area, and some other people in authority having been paid to look the other way.

But then, Boulevard is among the most populous areas in the city. And that means, it will not be easy to crack down on strangers without the cooperation of the locals themselves. Ergo, the ball is now with the barangay officials.

The suspects have been arrested at Purok 3, Barangay 31-D Poblacion last July 10. The shabu were also seized there. There is no reason now for the barangay officials to claim they do not know of any illegal drug activity in their area.

The raid and eventual arrests show there were and most likely still are illegal drug activities going on. It is up to the barangay officials and concerned residents to make sure that the activities are stopped. Otherwise, suspicion will likewise be cast their way.