Police nab 1,385 drug users 41 HVTs in Bicol last year

LEGAZPI CITY --- The government war against illegal drugs in 2019 resulted in the arrest of 1,385 users and 41 high-value targets (HVT) or drug pushers in various police-initiated drug stings across the region, according to high ranking police officer in Bicol.

The police operations also resulted in the recovery of close to 53 kilos of cocaine, two kilos of shabu, and 164 sachets of marijuana with a total street value of P 281 million, said Brig. Gen. Anthony Alcañeses, director of Police Regional Office-5 (PRO-5), in an interview over the weekend.

“In various drug operations, it (Bicol PNP) has also seized P 7.3 million cash money from either drug pushers or users, 102 firearms and impounded 110 vehicles used by illegal drug personalities,” he said. Alcañeses said the drug operations conducted by the police in close coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) were able to clear 1,063 drug-affected villages.

“We will be relentless in our campaign that the remaining 1,727 affected barangay would be cleared by yearend,” he said.

The PRO-5, in collaboration with various agencies, has initiated different programs to support the surrenderees as they reintegrate with the community. These include the Recovery and Wellness program; General Intervention Program; Community-Based Rehabilitation Program; Intensive Out-Patient Program; Confinement-Treatment program and rehabilitation in centers for severe cases.

In addition, 16 Balay Silangan Reformation Centers (BSRCs) were established and inaugurated in the different parts of the region.

In Camarines Norte, there are 11 centers catering to 25 drug personalities. These are located in the towns of San Vicente, Jose Panganiban, Daet, Talisay, Labo, Paracale, Vinzons, San Lorenzo Ruiz, Mercedes, Capalonga, and in Basud.

In Sorsogon, two BSRCs were set up in Sta. Magdalena and Barcelona; while one was set up in San Miguel town in Catanduanes.

In Camarines Sur, one was installed in Gainza town, while another BSRC was established in Barangay Puro, Legazpi City.

Alcañeses said these BSRC will serve as temporary refuge to the former drug users and help reform them into law-abiding citizens towards a brighter future away from the influence of illegal drugs. (PNA)