IN less than a month, the police gathered information about 62,290 drug users and peddlers in Central Visayas, with Cebu and two of its cities accounting for the largest group, at 32,463.
On average, 1,159 of these “drug personalities” presented themselves to the police in Cebu from July 1 to July 28, records of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 revealed.
Chief Supt. Noli Taliño said that the number of those who responded to Oplan Tokhang came as a surprise to the police, because only 8,000 drug personalities were on the drugs watch list of Central Visayas before the operation started.
Some P6,399,730 worth of shabu, based on estimates set by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), were confiscated in 206 anti-drug operations.
Police arrested a total of 332 persons during these operations.
From Cebu City, 2,966 users and pushers submitted themselves to the program through the city’s 11 police stations. Police knocked on 1,774 houses. Tokhang combines the words “toktok” (to knock) and “hangyo” (to request): the operation involves asking suspected users and pushers to give up illegal drugs.
As part of their efforts to curb illegal drugs, Senior Supt. Joel Doria encouraged Cebu City’s police station chiefs to visit the barangay officials in the city daily for information about alleged users and pushers.
In Cebu Province, a total of 26,716 presented themselves to the provincial police stations. Police visited 12,590 houses in Cebu Province as part of Oplan Tokhang.
(Of the group, 1,584 said they were pushers. The rest were users.)
The province’s operatives killed 14 suspected pushers—the highest so far in the region—during what they described as legitimate operations.
As for the Bohol Provincial Police Office, its operatives visited 14,674 houses and profiled 28,354 drug users and pushers.
In Siquijor, 690 “surrendered” to the police.
A total of 1,467 users and pushers surrendered to the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO), while 1,390 did the same in Lapu-Lapu City.
Mandaue’s police visited 1,000 households while the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office sent teams to knock on 1,003 houses.
Mandaue’s approach includes a weekly Bible study and a Zumba class for those who surrendered to the police. (The Bible study sessions will be organized in partnership with the Sower Ministry.)
Last Thursday, more than 100 drug pushers and users who had earlier surrendered joined the Bible study led by Joseph Borba in the MCPO conference room.
Participants were provided with food before they had their Zumba class.
“Gihangyo namo sila nga di na sila mobalik sa ilang karaang bisyo. Gawas nga madaot sila, ilang pamilya maapil sad (We appealed to them not to go back to their old ways. Drugs will harm them and their families),” said Senior Insp. Romulo Genandoy, officer-in-charge of the MCPO Police Community Relations office.
10 per barangay
Genandoy said that Borba sent the MCPO a message to offer to lead the Bible study sessions (twice a week) and to provide enough food for 200 participants.
The MCPO encouraged every barangay to send at least 10 persons to participate in the weekly activities.
Genandoy said that Senior Supt. Roberto Alanas, the new MCPO director, will also ask the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to provide skills training to the previous drug pushers and users.
The MCPO, together with at least 170 participants, cleaned up the Cebu International Convention Center last July 12. The Zumba class began last July 14.
In Lapu-Lapu, Senior Supt. Rommel Cabagnot, the new Lapu-Lapu Police Office director, said the police will classify who among those profiled need a job and who needs rehabilitation.
Cabagnot said they will have a community service session on Monday and they will look for a Zumba instructor for those who surrendered.
In Talisay City, the police confiscated 13 illegal gambling machines in Barangay Tanke at 11 p.m. last Thursday.
The team also visited 30 households but no one “surrendered” or admitted to any participation in illegal drug activities.
Talisay City’s confiscation of the gambling (video karera and mole-mole) machines was part of an Oplan Sita conducted by the police under Supt. Aileen Cayme Recla, with the barangay intelligence network.
Last Tuesday, five persons were arrested after the police said they found packs of suspected shabu in Sitio Rattan, Barangay Tangke at 5:10 p.m.
Supt. Germano Mallari and his team arrested Marjorie Breguis Mangubat, 35, and her live-in partner Cristopher Zabate Entienza, 40, both from Holy Child, Tabunok, Talisay; Julius Cellen Bonghanoy, 29, of Barangay Pakigne; Roel Cabrera Repunte, 37; and Jay Posalas Waminal, 40, of Sariville Subdivision, Poblacion.
The police said they also recovered two medium packs and 11 small sachets of shabu with an estimated weight of 5.2 grams and an estimated total value of P61,360.
Bonghanoy admitted that he had used drugs for 10 years but denied owning the five sachets of shabu that, according to him, were not even on him during his arrest.
All the evidences were submitted to the Crime Laboratory in Camp Sotero Cabahug, Cebu City, while the suspects were detained in the Talisay City Police Office’s detention cell. With Jyda Yeecynth Ang, USJ-R intern