FOR eight months this year, the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) confiscated more than P8.3 million worth of drugs.
Police also reported that 159 out of 1,066 barangays in Cebu Province are affected by drug trafficking.
Senior Supt. Noel Gillamac, CPPO director, said they are concentrating their campaign against illegal drugs in component cities and towns, where most drug pushers operate.
From January to August 2013, police arrested 407 people. Of them, 182 were suspected of being drug pushers, 215 were believed to be drug users and 10 were wanted persons.
According to the crime report, the provincial police conducted 303 operations, higher compared to the same period last year.
About 115 of the operations were buy-busts, when a police operative or asset buys narcotics from suspects, who are then arrested. At least 159 were saturation drives, 12 were marijuana eradication campaigns and six were raids. Ten warrants of arrest in relation to drugs were served.
Last year, the CPPO collared only 327 people and conducted 294 operations.
Of the seized illegal drugs, 16,511 of them were fully-grown marijuana plants, 339 marijuana stalks, 2,310 seedlings, 251 marijuana seeds, 4,845 marijuana dried leaves, and 143 marijuana hand-rolled sticks.
The provincial police reported that they confiscated 338.21 grams of shabu this year, compared to last year’s 47.05 grams.
The seized drugs were valued at P8,312,217 based on the amounts set by the Dangerous Drugs Board.
From the 303 operations conducted this year, 291 cases were filed against the suspects. Some of the suspects were not charged anymore because a warrant had already been issued against them, meaning charges had previously been filed.
The top three target personalities in Cebu Province were also arrested by different police units.
Last May, Filizardo Tito was caught in Barangay Ilihan, Toledo City and the police confiscated P365,000 worth of packs of shabu during the operation.
A month later, the alleged number one drug pusher in Balamban was arrested, with P50,000 worth of shabu.
In July, 80 packs of shabu worth P60,000 were seized from Hilario Atis in Barangay San
Vicente, Liloan town.
Apart from them, William Mercader, the alleged number one drug personality in Medellin, was arrested in Barangay Canhabagat last February, the police said.
A suspected drug-trafficking group led by Francisco “Boyet” Ariva was also neutralized by provincial police in simultaneous operations.
Four alleged accomplices of Ariva were killed and two others were arrested in a shootout with policemen in Barangay Pulpogan, Consolacion last March.
Gillamac said they have received reports that drugs from Cebu Province come from Cebu City and these are distributed in far-flung towns.
Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Danilo Constantino, in an earlier interview, said he has directed all police units to intensify their operations against illegal drugs.
u201cThey have to be on an aggressive mode and go after high-profile drug personalities,” he said.
To stamp out the problem of illegal drugs, Constantino said the police assigned in towns should address street-level pushing.
He also warned police operatives that the PNP will file charges against them if they fail to attend court hearings, which will result to the dismissal of drug-related cases.
u201cThe drug problem continues to be a major concern and menace to society,” the police official said.