MICHAEL Medellin stood on stage before a crowd of police officers, civilian volunteers, and trainees who were waving placards with anti-drugs messages yesterday morning at the PR0 7-organized rally at the Fuente Osmeña rotunda.
He started to speak, then he paused. He later admitted he is a junkie.
Medellin surrendered to Barangay Poblacion Pardo Councilman William Tajanlangit two weeks ago for fear of his life.
“Way ayo ikahatag ning kinabuhia (This kind of life can’t give you anything good),” he said.
He urged other junkies to stop their vice.
The printed message on the stage’s backdrop said: “Batukan ta ang drogas, gubaton ang mga durugista (Let’s go against drugs, fight drug pushers).”
Medellin, whose wife is a teacher in a Korean school, did not last a minute on stage with Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Chief Supt. Patrocinio Comendador Jr. and other officials.
The 36-year-old father of two daughters was one of the speakers during the anti-illegal drugs indignation rally.
The event was part of the kick-off ceremony of the 21st Police Community Relations celebration next month.
At least 1,500 personnel attended the program at 10:30 a.m., a few hours before the burial of suspected drug lord Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz.
From January until the third week this June, the units under PRO 7 killed 17 drug pushers in shootouts.
More than 10,000 kilos of shabu were seized from 1,959 arrested personalities. The contraband is worth P117.9 million.
Medellin, who started using shabu when he was still in high school, said he became a thief when he ran out of money to buy shabu.
Stealing properties, however, was not enough to satisfy his addiction. He became a drug pusher.
Police arrested him for possession of drug paraphernalia and the bailable case is pending before the Cebu City Regional Trial Court Branch 13.
When asked of the possible struggle he would have with withdrawal symptoms, Medellin said: “Aw, wa ko mahadlok ana (I’m not afraid of that).”
Tajanlangit said two more suspected drug pushers approached him and expressed their desire to surrender.
Comendador, in his speech in the rally, alluded to Jaguar as “anino (shadow),” before the latter was killed in a shootout in Las Piñas City last week.
“Gihagit ta mo...dakpon ug i-neutralize nato ang drug dealers,” he said.
During a press conference, Comendador said the police may encounter problems with suspected drug pushers or users who surrender without pending cases in courts.
He suggested the junkies should bring shabu when they surrender, so the police can keep them in detention cells.
Pardo Police Station Chief Randy Caballes said they are forming a team of civilian volunteers who will keep an eye on the illegal drug trade in the neighborhood.
Before the rally, physicist and educator Maria Victoria Carpio-Bernido was the guest of honor and speaker during the Monday flag-raising ceremony at the PRO 7 headquarters in Cebu City.
Bernido and her husband Christopher were recipients of Ramon Magsaysay Award for “their purposeful commitment to both science and nation, ensuring innovative, low-cost, and effective basic education even under conditions of great scarcity and daunting poverty.”
She emphasized that educators, the police and other law enforcement agencies should unite for the community.
The police often conduct anti-criminality seminars and career talks in their school, Central Visayan Institute Foundation in Jagna, Bohol.
Supt. Oscar Monterroyo said the PRO 7 also handed awards to non-commissioned officers.
Awarded officers yesterday were PO3 Roderick Francia from Station 7 (1st place); PO2 Clark Emperado from Station 2 (2nd place); and PO1 Merlito Patatag from Station 8 took the third place.
The Best PCR Unit award was given to Station 7, under the leadership of Senior Insp. Randy T. Caballes.
Barangay intelligence network operatives, tanods, guardians and other non-government organizations also participated in the rally. Julie Mae Altamira USJR Intern