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900 drug suspects arrested since November

More than 900 drug suspects were arrested by the different units of the Police Regional Office XI since the start of November.

Speaking on Wednesday’s AFP-PNP press conference held at The Royal Mandaya Hotel, Brig Gen. Filmore Escobal, the PRO XI director, said a total of 907 drug personalities were arrested out of the 129 operations conducted regionwide.

The arrested suspects were already detained in different police stations as cases for violation of the RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 were filed against them.

Escobal said the arrests started since “the assumption of Lt. Col. Ronald Lao as the Regional Drug Enforcement Unit chief from the period of November 1 to 24.”

The anti-drug operations also resulted in the confiscation of 296 sachets of shabu and 33 packs of marijuana with an estimated market value of P1,066.28 million.

He also said that the strategy of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency will still be anchored on demand reduction. He said there was no significant action plan laid down to them by Vice President Leonor Robredo until she was fired by President Rodrigo Duterte as the co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs.’

The PRO XI’s oversight committee on illegal drugs, headed by Col. Edgar Alan Okubo, the deputy regional director for operations, evaluates and validates all the accomplishments of the PNP’s lower units in implementing the anti-drug plan. The aim is to find ways to improve their strategies and actions for more effective results.

“Lesser number of drug addicts on the streets equates to lesser criminal activities and incidents, ” the regional police director said.

“Lastly, we are also constantly reminding the people who refuse to end their illegal drug activity-including police officers who are involved, if there are–they will be the first to go in jail,” He warned.

“I will not just let illegal activities of our personnel continue. That is my mandate starting (from the time) I assumed as regional director,” Escobal added.

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