The Philippine Star
5 killed since PNP rejoined drug war
Five persons were reported killed as the Philippine National Police (PNP) rejoined the war on drugs from December to the first week of January 2018.
In its report, the PNP National Oversight Committee on illegal drug accomplishments showed that five persons were killed nationwide from Dec. 5, 2017 to Jan. 4, 2018.
The PNP Public Information Office (PIO) could not yet provide specific information about the five slain individuals, who died during police operations.
The PNP NOC reported a total of 1,096 drug personalities were arrested in 708 police operations nationwide during the same period.
The same report showed there were only nine Oplan Tokhang activities conducted so far and 10 self-confessed drug personalities have surrendered.
A police officer was killed and another was wounded during the police anti-illegal drug operations, the report added.
The PNP NOC reports are based on information submitted by police regional offices.
In Northern Luzon, motorcycle-riding gunmen shot dead yesterday a tricycle driver in Barangay Buena Suerte, Cauayan City, Isabela.
Police identified the victim as John Christian Pasion, 29, who surrendered to Oplan Tokhang last year. Pasion died on the spot while the suspects fled after the shooting.
Last Tuesday, tricycle driver Eugene Mauricio was gunned down by motorcycle riding assailants in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. Police said Mauricio was also in the police watch list of illegal drugs users and traders.
Meanwhile, about P120 million worth of cocaine was recovered from a floating plastic container in the waters of Matnog, Sorsogon, police said yesterday.
Senior Supt. Ronald Cabral, Sorsogon police director, said the substance, wrapped in 24 pieces of plastic packaging and placed inside a plastic container, was found by fishermen in Barangay Calintaan in Matnog late Wednesday afternoon.
Cabral noted that the fishermen claimed they did not see anyone near the floating container, thus there was no arrest made.
Earlier, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said he would use his term extension to arrest more drug personalities.
Dela Rosa said he just received the written order from Malacañang about his term extension on Dec. 30.
He was supposed to retire on Jan. 21 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56, but President Duterte extended his term of office.
He vowed to observe caution and take all the lessons learned from previous incidents in the fight against illegal drugs.
At the same time, Dela Rosa said the PNP would also hasten the procurement of body cameras to protect both policemen and drug personalities from wrong accusations, harassment and abuses.
Sen. Leila de Lima said yesterday that the war on drugs of the Duterte administration is a sham based on recent developments showing how large-scale transactions of illegal drugs continue to thrive in the country.
In a statement, De Lima cited the recent revelation made by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that a drug lord inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa was behind the shipment of one ton of shabu on board a Taiwanese vessel that was tracked by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration on its way to the Philippines last November.
De Lima said this, coupled with the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu from China through the Bureau of Customs earlier this year was suspicious and “bordering on maleficent.”
“How can this government succeed in its unrelenting campaign to end illegal drugs menace when it could not even stop convicted drug lords under its custody from conducting their business?” added De Lima, who is currently detained on drug-related charges.
De Lima recalled how during her time as justice secretary, she launched operations to strip the luxuries and logistics of highprofile inmates inside the NBP and their segregation from the general prison population.
She said that the previous administration also jumpstarted the plan to transfer the NBP to a modern prison facility, which she said would address the problem of prison-based criminality.
“But instead of pursuing or building on these initiatives, this administration, desperate in its fabricated charges against me, struck a deal with these convicted drug lords – their testimonies of lies in exchange for the restoration of their privileges which enabled them to resume their illegal drug operations,” De Lima said.
“It was a perfect pact with the devil which was instrumental in my unjust detention. It also exposed this regime’s war on drugs as fraud with only the powerless and competitors as targets, while allies and those willing to ‘cooperate’ remain scot-free and given posts in government,” she added.
With President Duterte regularly asking for an extension of his deadline to solve the problem of drugs and the resurgence of narcotics within the NBP, De Lima said that the administration’s war on drugs appears to be mere propaganda.