The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reported that some 291 drug personalities were arrested in Bicol last year.
Police Superintendent Darius Tuazon, PDEA Bicol assistant regional director, said that the drug personalities were apprehended in various operations conducted last year by agency’s operatives.
Tuazon said that of the 291 persons arrested, 189 pushers, 95 are users and 7 are marijuana cultivators.
"Of the total figure, forty two pushers who were included in the regional drug watch list, were neutralized," said Tuazon, adding that 231 cases for violation of Republic Act 6425 as amended and Republic Act 9165, were filed in court.
Metamphetamine hydrochloride, popularly known as poor man’s cocaine or shabu, remains the drug of choice based on the volume of apprehensions conducted against drug personalities who were either engaged in pushing or drug possession.
Aside from aggressive operation against illegal drugs activities, the agency is continuously engage in information dissemination in the different units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on the salient features of the Republic Act No. 9165 which was approved by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on July 4 last year to put more teeth on the national campaign against illegal drug use.
Under the agency’s strategy of supply reduction of illegal drugs, the PDEA in Bicol conducted 47 drug operations, 17 buy-bust operations, 21 services of search warrants (three serviced with warrant of arrest, five for illegal drug possession and one for marijuana eradication).
A total of 60 persons were arrested wherein 51 were pushers, eight users and one marijuana cultivators. Forty nine cases were filed in court. A total of 66.7441 grams of shabu, 98.87 grams of dried marijuana leaves, two
stick of marijuana cigarettes and 23 fully grown marijuana plants were seized by PDEA operatives.
On demand reduction strategy, the PDEA conducted 58 lecture/seminars which were attended by some 6,966 participants mostly students, parents, barangay officials, barangay tanods, and police personnel.
Under this, 39 walk-in inquiries were entertained, 10 press releases distributed, and conducted 24 radio interviews and eleven TV appearances.
The agency continues to coordinate with the local police and the various Barangay Anti-Drugs Abuse Councils (BADAC) to put up a list of the different drug personalities in their respective areas.