SOME 27 suspected drug pushers were killed by unidentified gunmen last month.
Nine of the killings happened in Cebu Province, six in Lapu-Lapu City, six in Cebu City and six in Bohol.
Police also killed 39 suspected pushers in shootouts during legitimate operations in the region. Nine died in Cebu City; six in Mandaue City; five in Lapu-Lapu City; 14 in Cebu Province; and five in Bohol.
No one died in Siquijor, according to the report from the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7.
Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, the PRO 7 director, urged illegal drug traders not pull their firearms against the operatives.
“The best thing for them to do is to just surrender,” he said in Tagalog.
According to the PRO 7 Regional Operations and Plans Division, 58,536 users and 4,378 pushers have surrendered since July 1.
The statistics also showed that police visited 33,124 houses during Oplan Tokhang, a campaign that has officers knocking on the doors of suspected pushers or junkies and persuading them to quit.
Bohol has recorded the most surrenders with 28,450, followed by Cebu Province with 26,962; Cebu City, 3,848; Mandaue City, 1,583; Lapu-Lapu City, 1,376; and Siquijor, 700.
Taliño also ordered an investigation on reports that a group of vigilantes is going after drug pushers in Cebu City.
He said he has not received reports from lower units about the presence of vigilantes in the region.
Last week, an anonymous person volunteered to form a group that will kill drug pushers in their area.
Taliño said they do not allow summary executions.
As the 911 emergency hotline was made available yesterday, Taliño said it can help their drive against illegal drugs and other crimes.
However, he urged the public not to make prank calls.
Yogi Filemon Ruiz, the new Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 director, visited Taliño yesterday, asking the police director to help them in the campaign against illegal drugs.
Ruiz was accompanied by PDEA 7 Assistant Director Wardley Getalla. They had a closed-door meeting.
Taliño also ordered an inquiry on the death of suspected drug pusher Fresco Cabingatan, 33, who was shot to death in Buhisan, Cebu City, after the family believed the suspect was murdered.
“We will find out if there were lapses,” he said in Tagalog.
In his first month as head of PRO 7, Taliño said homicide and murder incidents rose, while crimes against persons like robbery, theft, and rape dropped.
He attributed the drop to the tougher drive against illegal drugs.
“Illegal drugs is the mother of all crimes. It’s where 70 percent of crimes emanate from. In rape cases, most of the suspects are high on drugs. Suspects are driven to steal and rob so they can have money to buy drugs,” Taliño said in Cebuano.
Last Sunday night, operatives of the Regional Special Operations Group caught suspected drug pusher Godfrey Dayagan Labra, 33, in the parking lot of a mall in Carcar City.
At 2 a.m. last Sunday, police caught 16 persons including seven minors in Barangay Tomonoy, Moalboal.
In Danao City, operatives of the anti-illegal drugs unit arrest suspected drug pusher Irma Morillo Beduya, 42; her alleged cohort Rannil Rica Behijo, 41; and suspected junkies Raul Pilapil Sampan, 49; and Ervin Morillo Beduya, 37, who were allegedly having a pot session.
Seized from them were 12.48 grams of white crystals believed to be shabu worth P147,264.
Complaints for violating Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, will be filed against the suspects.