A TOTAL of 84 drug pushers and users in the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue presented themselves to the police, just as President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office yesterday.
Their common reason for surrendering is their fear for their safety, after the President ordered to run after drug personalities.
That, as some 40 alleged junkies and drug pushers are set to submit themselves to the police and Liloan Mayor Cristina Garcia-Frasco today.
Senior Supt. Arnel Amor Libed, director of Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LCPO), said that of the 106 drug personalities who expressed their interest to surrender, 75 came to the LCPO yesterday.
“Duterte is a factor na nag-surrender sila (for their voluntary surrender). (It is) because of fear,” Libed said.
Those who presented themselves were brought to the Lapu-Lapu City Tourism Office where they were taught about the effects of drugs to their families and to them as individuals.
In a short program, they swore that they will no longer be involved in illegal drugs.
John (not his real name), 45, of Barangay Pusok said he stopped selling illegal drugs last October 2015, but he showed up yesterday to make sure that nothing will happen to him.
Ribomapil Wagwag, a resident of Barangay Maribago, said he had stopped selling prohibited drugs about two years ago.
However, he admitted that he still uses illegal drugs.
Police Chief Insp. Conrado Manatad, chief of Lapu-Lapu Police Station (PS) 2, said Wagwag’s surrender to the police is a result of the “Tokhang” operation.
Tokhang is short for “Toktok Hangyo,” an operation wherein policemen visit the house of a drug personality and ask him/her to stop selling or using illegal drugs.
Libed said the persons involved were recorded and interrogated. Their finger prints were also taken.
They were later released yesterday. The police will monitor them to make sure that they have really given up on any drug-related activities.
For her part, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza assured those who surrendered that they will support them, by providing them livelihood.
In Mandaue City, nine drug personalities, including three who are included in the list of top drug personalities, surrendered yesterday to the different police stations.
Police Senior Insp. Narciso Abapo, chief of Police Station 2, said that Aida Reyes, Allan Getigan and Anne Reyes, who is six months pregnant, are their stations top 1, 2 and 10 drug personalities. They surrendered Subangdaku Barangay Captain Ernie Manatad.
Anne said she was afraid after she heard of Duterte’s order.
Getigan said he presented himself because of his family and his fear to Duterte.
“To my neighbors who are still selling illegal drugs, you should stop for your safety or else you will land in the cemetery,” he said in Cebuano.
Five drug personalities came to Mandaue Police Station 1, while another one surrendered in Police Station 5.
In Liloan, Insp. Stanley Canoy, the town police deputy chief, said the persons approached first their barangay officials and expressed their intent to surrender for fear of their lives, following their parents’ prodding.
Canoy said that the death of suspected drug pusher Andres Soyosa Jr. in a raid in Barangay Tabla last June 22 may have contributed to the surrender of these users and drug peddlers.
“He was one of the toughies here,” he said.
Senior Insp. Ramil Morpos, the town police chief, said a member of his team shot the suspect, who attempted to throw a grenade at them.
Soyosa, a level two drug pusher who can dispose of at least 200 grams of shabu per week, was rushed to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City after he was hit in the hand and head. He did not make it alive.
Canoy said they still have to determine who are the users and pushers. They will check those who have pending cases in courts.
“We will monitor those who have no cases,” he said in Cebuano.
Police Regional Office 7 Director Chief Supt. Patrocinio Comendador Jr. said they have no legal hold on junkies who are not facing cases.
“Remember that we cannot remove it (addiction) overnight. Ang pagka adik nimo di makuha lang sa pag-esturya, makuha na pinaagi sa rehabilitation,” said Comendador.
In Cebu City, the Fuente Police Station yesterday kicked off with its Oplan Tokhang in Barangay Sambag 2.
“It was a positive operation. There were those who volunteered to us and we talked to them if they were willing to change their ways,” Chief Insp. Michelangelo Beltran of the Police Station 2 said in Cebuano.
Two drug pushers presented themselves to the police and the barangay tanods.
At least five households known to be frequented by drug pushers and users in the area were visited.
Three of the suspected drug pushers were not in their homes and their family members were instead asked to persuade them to stop.
Sambag 2 Barangay Captain Carl Stephen Bellarmino said that they appreciated the efforts of the police in working with them.
He said that with the implementation of the program, many of the residents were relieved.
In the mountain barangay of Guba, around 500 students of the Guba National Highschool were lectured in the ill-effects of drugs as part of their National Drugs Education Program.
Elements of the Police-Community Relations (PCR) Branch of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) were the speakers in the seminar while they covered topics like the kinds of drugs and its bad effects to physical and mental health.
“The students were attentive especially the ones whom we suspect are doing drugs at an early age. We really reiterated the consequences,” Supt. Oscar Monterroyo, chief of the PCR, said in an interview with Sun.Star Cebu.
Although there were no reported drug activities in the area, Jesusima Jumalon, the principal of Guba National Highschool, is not taking any chances.
Meanwhile, nine persons were arrested in separate anti-drugs operations in the city.
The Investigation and Detective Management Branch of the CCPO caught three drugs users in Barangay Talamban.
Police caught Maeko Largosa, 19, with two small sachets of shabu; Reggie Lubreco, 26, with a small sachet of shabu and Ronilo Malinao, 34, who had a .22 magnum revolver in his possession.
Also caught were Aquilles Miraflor, Marvin Burden, Imelda Emerie, Sharon Sakay, Remedios Caban, Junie Tagalog in Barangays Kamagayan, Lorega-San Miguel, Sambag 2 and Calamba.
They will face complaints for the violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.