THE City Anti-illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (CAIDSOTF) confirmed that the use of Nubain has always been a problem in Barangay Kamagayan.

CAIDSOTG Chief Eunil Avergonzado said that since September, they arrested three persons allegedly involved in the sale of Nubain in Kamagayan.

The usual mode of selling Nubain in the said barangay is through the “ATM,” or “Automatic Tusok Me.”

Avergonzado said they had difficulty arresting users.

He said Nubain sellers usually stay in an enclosed place with a hole on the wall that is small enough to fit a person’s arm.

He said the users usually place their arm through the hole and the someone injects the Nubain into the user’s arm.

The buyer then pays for the Nubain and walks away.

Nubain is reportedly sold for P100 to P200 per ampule.

According to PDEA, the ATMs have been operating for almost two years.

Avergonzado said they have no control on the use of syringes that are bought in the pharmacy.

“Lisud na kay dili man namo ma-trace ang mupalit ug syringe na para na ba diay na sa Nubain (It’s difficult because we wouldn’t know the syringe being bought will be used for Nubain),” Avergonzado lamented.

Suppliers

Instead of arresting the users, the CAIDSOTF, including the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7, have been targeting suppliers of Nubain.

PDEA 7 Operations Chief David Mark Maramba said the mandate is to focus their operations on Nubain suppliers in Kamagayan rather than the drug users.

As of this year, the PDEA 7 has not arrested Nubain users or suppliers.

“It does not mean we are not monitoring them because we know they exist. We are preparing that the operation will be favorable to us na kung mo-arrest mi, sure na gyud ug we have enough evidence against those involved (we have to be sure),” said Maramba in a phone interview.

In October last year, the “Nubain queen” in Cebu City and her two companions were arrested in a buy-bust in Barangay Kamagayan by the CAIDSOTF.

Seized from Jovita Rodriguez, 48, were 29 ampules of Nubain worth P6,000 in street sales.

It was the biggest operation of CAIDSOTF against Nubain suppliers.

Alarming

Meanwhile, a member of the Religious Virgin Mary (RVM)congregation said they were disturbed by reports about the ease in procuing Nubain.

Speaking before the 888 News Forum at Marco Polo Plaza, Sister Virgie Lagaray, who is also a member of the Cebu Coalition against the Pork Barrel System, said the drug dependents just drive their vehicles through the place where the Nubain injection service is offered.

“It is very alarming. People have easy access to illegal drugs at low cost,” Lagaray said.

What is more alarming, Lagaray said, is the reports that one needle is being used for several persons, which exposes users to Acute Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (Aids).

“During one of the briefings that we attended, we were informed that there are already 481 Aids victims in Central Visayas,” Lagaray said, adding that if these victims avail themselves of Kamagayan’s drive-through injection, the disease will spread.

Cebu City Police Chief Noli Romana, who was also in the forum, confirmed Lagaray’s information.

The police chief said they are coordinating with City Councilor James Cuenco in connection with a program that involves a monitoring task force that is working with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

He said they will involve the University of San Carlos (USC) and the University of the Visayas (UV) in this program because they are within Kamagayan, and the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) because it is within the university belt.