A POLICE official told the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group and its counterparts in the provincial, city and station levels to intensify the campaign against illegal drugs.

"Hit hard the illegal drug syndicates and pursue their prosecution in court" Police Regional Office Director Samuel Pagdilao ordered.

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The order also include more intelligence operations against suspected drug manufacturers and suppliers, pushers and traffickers or drug den operators; to confiscate more illegal drugs and to further intensify the supply reduction drive of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Pagdilao particularly ordered operatives to strike hard on the Prevendido Group and Odicta Group, two leading illegal drugs syndicates operating in the city and province of Iloilo and its adjacent provinces, by pursuing the prosecution of its members charged with violations of anti-drug law.

Without reservation, Pagdilao also ordered his station commanders to hit hard on policemen and other law enforcement agents who will be found to have links to illegal drugs operations and whose activities are inimical to the no-compromise policy of the PNP's campaign against illegal drugs.

In Iloilo province, there are 98 drug pushers listed in the watch list of the provincial police office, while Aklan has 38; Capiz, 56; Antique, 39; and Guimaras, 8. Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office has the biggest number of suspected drug pushers in their watch list with 115.

At the city level, Bacolod has 25 drug pushers in their watch list. Iloilo City ranks top in the most number of drug suspects listed in the PNP watch list, with 104 drug pushers including a policeman. The city district of Arevalo has 29 drug pushers, La Paz, 46; Jaro, 42; Molo, 44 and Mandurriao, 52.

Gambling

All regional intelligence operatives were also ordered to launch a crackdown on all operators of illegal number games.

Pagdilao directed intelligence operatives to launch a drive against operators of video karera machines, daily double, first-two and other illegal number games, particularly those included in the watch list of the regional police office.

Towns in central Iloilo are reportedly hooked on the illegal game of numbers, particularly daily double that relies on the results of the small-town lottery (STL) draw while first-two depends on the result of lotto draw for their respective winning combinations.

Among those in the police watch list for illegal gambling operations is maintained and operated by a certain Jimmy and is financed by persons identified as alias Boyet and Junel in central towns.

In Southern Iloilo, a certain Ningnong was reportedly in charged of the illegal gambling operation and financed by a certain Montinola and Imong dela Cruz.

In Guimaras province, illegal gambling operation is reportedly being operated by certain Boy Madrid and Boy Jucaban.

Pagdilao directed the Iloilo Police Provincial Office and Guimaras Police Provincial Office to apprehend STL bet collectors in their provinces because the STL is only authorized to operate in Iloilo City with the City Government's consent. (Lydia C. Pendon)