CLOSE to 1,000 suspected drug personalities from all over Cagayan de Oro City have surrendered to authorities following the police’s intensified anti-illegal drugs campaign, ‘Oplan Tokhang.’
Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) spokesperson Police Superintendent Michael Deloso said the number is expected to rise with the beginning of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration.
Since the start of the program last week at Barangay 26, other villages in the city have also initiated their own version of Oplan Tokhang, yielding more suspected drug pushers/users particularly in barangays Gusa, 31, Pagatpat, Baloy, Puerto, Agusan, and Iponan.
Deloso said 40 drug personalities from Barangay 26, 160 suspected drug users in Puerto and Iponan, 286 persons in Agusan, 13 in Barangay 31, more or less 250 alleged drug users in Pagatpat, more than 100 today in Barangay Baloy, and 118 in Barangay Puerto have turned themselves in to authorities.
"Mo-daghan pa kini kay overwhelming kaayo ang pag-kooperar sa matag lider sa mga barangay na masugpo na ang droga," Deloso said.
Drug rehab centers
As more drug users turn themselves in to authorities, the issue of the availability of drug rehabilitation facilities is beginning to be highlighted.
City Social Welfare Office head Teddy Sabuga-a said the city has only one Department of Health-owned rehabilitation center in Maitum, Upper Puerto although the City Government has plans to add another one.
Sabuga-a said the focus now of the authorities is on the arrest of alleged drug suspects, not on what follows after.
"Actually, duha ang instructions sa atong mayor, ang pagbuhat ug mental facility ug rehab facility but definitely ma-una ang for the mentally-ill," he said.
"Ang police pud karon naa paman sa identification ug validation sa mga drug suspects. Basin ato pa ng ma-group sila kay basin naa pa'y madala ug counselling na dili na kinahanglan sa rehab," Sabuga-a added.
Police Senior Superintendent Faro Antonio Olaguera, Cocpo police director, on the other hand, said the police's focus and plan is 'to urge as many drug personalities as possible to surface and take a voluntary oath and personal commitment to change their ways.'
"Possibly after a month, we will request them to submit to a voluntary drug test, we'll see what we can do with our barangay and city anti-drug councils," Olaguera said.
13 persons were arrested in a drug bust at Dabatian Street in Barangay Carmen on Wednesday, June 29.
The operation targeted the suspects Fritz Acosta a.k.a. Ondoy, 34, alleged owner of a drug den, while Eddie Saa, 20, from Sitio Macanhan, Edwin Acosta, 28, from Dabatian, Darwin Tinampa, 21, from Gumamela extension, Jeffrey Almasog, 18 with his father Aquino Acapulco Sr., 48, from Matilde Street, and Aquino Acapulco Jr., 28, from Dabatian, Carmen, Virgilio Acosta, 39, Kim Feliciano, 28, Roland Anub 49 from Gumamela extension, Rose Fernandez, 40, from Zone 3, Patag, Marieliz Feliciano, 48, and Joselyn Abalde were caught red-handed by the police.
The suspects are detained at Maharlika Detention Center.
The police from the Regional Anti-Illegal Drug Special Operations Group, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Regional Intelligence Unit and Carmen Police Station initiated the joint drug bust. (with a report from Kris Sialana of Sun.Star SuperBalita Cagayan de Oro)