DCPO ends anti-drug ops

THE DAVAO City Police Office (DCPO) yesterday stopped conducting anti-drug operations following the order of President Rodrigo Duterte for the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to take full responsibility in the government’s narcotic war.

 “I have already given orders down to my commanders that they should cease and desist implementing drug operations,” DCPO director Alexander Tagum told reporters in an interview.

 With the new order, Tagum said they would turn over the drug list and drug personalities to PDEA XI. “We will turn it over so that our momentum against illegal drugs in Davao would continue,” he said.

 DCPO’s last anti-drug operation was on Wednesday afternoon when they arrested Jeffrey Añana, 37, an alleged fixer at Land Transportation Office. The suspect was arrested in a buy-bust operation of PDEA and San Pedro Police Precinct at Purok 2, Barangay 76-A, Talomo District.

 The San Pedro Police Precinct reported that they recovered from Añana one small elongated transparent plastic sachet, one piece folded rectangular shape aluminum and one piece improvised rolled aluminum foil tooter and two pieces empty transparent plastic sachets, which all allegedly contained shabu.

 On Tuesday, President Duterte signed the memorandum directing PDEA, which has only 1,980 officers throughout the country, as the sole agency that would conduct the anti-drug operations. The police, he said, have to only “maintain police visibility as a deterrent to illegal drug activities.”

 “Although this new order would affect our operations especially now that we are identifying the targets involved in drugs for the month, we have no choice but to abide on this directive,” Tagum said. “President Duterte noted that it is high time for PDEA to lead on drug operations,” he said.

 Prior to the order, the Philippine National Police (PNP) implemented programs such as Oplan Double Barrel, Oplan Double Barrel Alpha and Oplan Barrel Reloaded in pursuit to intensify the anti-illegal drugs campaign.

 Data from PNP XI showed that DCPO was able to arrest 1,306 drug users and pushers from July 1 last year to Sept. 30 this year. There were also 11,494 surrenderees. A total of 59 persons were killed during drug operations of DCPO.

 Throughout the region, PNP XI recorded 2,742 operations and visited 77,413 houses, basing on its data from July 1 last year to Sept. 30 this year. The police arrested 2,306 suspects and killed 144 individuals in the region during police operations.

 There were 65,252 individuals who personally appeared and surrendered in the region.

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