Cebu launches own version of drug war | Inquirer News

Cebu launches own version of drug war

/ 05:04 AM December 09, 2022
Cebu government officials on Wednesday launched the province’s “war on drugs,” primarily aimed at blocking the entry of narcotics through the island’s ports.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia

CEBU CITY—Cebu government officials on Wednesday launched the province’s “war on drugs,” primarily aimed at blocking the entry of narcotics through the island’s ports.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, who convened local leaders and law enforcement chiefs to the newly created One Cebu Inter-Agency Interdiction Task Force, said she believed that the illegal drug problem has worsened after former President Rodrigo Duterte ended his term in June.

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“The menace of illegal drugs cannot be overemphasized. It destroys families. It destroys societies,” the governor said in her speech at the provincial capitol’s social hall where government officials gathered for the signing of the memorandum of agreement on their participation in the task force.

“For six years, these illegal drugs and drug lords [have been lying] low, but now let’s admit it, with President Digong gone, they are slowly creeping in,” she added.

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The local task force hoped to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs, prosecute those involved in the narcotics trade and diminish the demand from users.

Members

Aside from the Cebu provincial government, other members of the task force include the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas led by regional director Levi Ortiz, and the Central Visayas regional police led by Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba.

Officials of the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, though they are not under the jurisdiction of Cebu province, also joined the task force.

“If we cannot totally eradicate illegal drugs, we will make it very, very difficult for these drug suppliers to make Cebu their marketplace,” Garcia said.

“We will make it very, very difficult for those who intend to start another lucrative business selling drugs here in Cebu. We will make life a hell for them,” she added.

Other agencies joining the localized drug war include the National Bureau of Investigation, Armed Forces of the Philippines Visayas Command, Philippine Coast Guard, Cebu Ports Authority, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Bureau of Customs Cebu, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and the Maritime Industry Authority.

The Cebu city and provincial chapters of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines will be part of the task force to help in the successful prosecution of those involved in the narcotics trade and prevent cases from being dismissed by the courts due to technicality or for lack of evidence.

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Preserving progress

Garcia said the task force’s primary goal was to block the entry of illegal drug shipments to Cebu since there were no known laboratories on the island.

“As what I have said, if we cannot fight this (illegal drugs), then there’s no peace and order to talk about. If there’s no peace and order, there’s no tourism to talk about, there’s no business to talk about. So there’s no progress to talk about,” she said.

“That was why in order to continue the development of Cebu, we will make sure that no ‘termites’ can enter because they will end up destroying all the efforts [we have exerted] and progress and development [we have achieved],” the governor added.

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3 alleged drug suspects fall, yield P680,000 ‘shabu’ in Cebu, Naga cities

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TAGS: Cebu, Drug war, Governor, Illegal drugs
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