Getting ‘high’ down in the dumps
Drug dens, now also considered “one-stop shops” where illegal substances can be bought and used, have evolved over the past months, according to the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).
Since July 1, Quezon City policemen have raided more than 20 of these sites, mostly in depressed areas, QCPD director Senior Supt. Guillermo Eleazar told the Inquirer on Wednesday.
“Previously, when we speak of drug dens, we think about spacious areas where individuals use ‘shabu’ (methamphetamine hydrochloride) and other illegal drugs,” he said.
But now, the term may also be applied to shanties in impoverished areas, cramped houses and ramshackle structures like those raided in Payatas B on Wednesday by Batasan Hills policemen.
Over 10 of these structures, which the police claimed they had never seen before, were found in the area measuring around 100 square meters and about 500 meters away from the Payatas dump. Piles of recyclable materials and pieces of wood served as the unsteady floors and walls while sacks, used tarpaulin and discarded curtains provided shelter from the elements.
Eleazar said the site was where garbage collectors would bring the recyclable trash taken from the dump. “I think they even stop here to eat lugaw (congee) during their break time,” he added.
Wednesday’s raid, however, showed that people were taking drugs for as low as P150 a hit inside these tent-like structures, unmindful of the hundreds of flies buzzing around them and their cramped, filthy surroundings.
Trash collectors arrested
A total of 100 people, mostly garbage collectors, were arrested during the police operation which also left two suspects dead. One of them, dismissed policeman PO1 Ericxander Gray, was reportedly one of those supplying shabu to customers.
Last month, 34 people were also arrested in a drug bust in a joint operation conducted by the QCPD and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Veterans Village, Pasong Tamo.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.