MPD reactivates task force vs abortion pill
MANILA, Philippines—The Manila Police District on Monday reactivated a task force to stop the sale of abortifacients around the perimeter of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church.
Parishioners and devotees at the church have clamored for the city government to erase the church vicinity’s growing notoriety as the “distribution hub” of Cytotec, an abortifacient sold by unscrupulous traders.
MPD Sta. Cruz station 3 commander Supt. James Afalla activated “Task Force Totec,” to pursue and arrest, using all available resources, personalities involved in the proliferation and sale of abortive products, specifically Cytotec in the Quiapo area.
Afalla, who will act as the task force commander, has also tapped the group to arrest suspected abortionists in the district.
In his task force activation order, Afalla cited reports of the alleged involvement of policemen as protectors and coddlers of Cytotec distributors.
The task force, apart from conducting operations against the vendors of abortifacients, has been tapped to “validate and investigate alleged police officers as protectors and coddlers of such illegal activity.”
Persons arrested by the task force will be turned over to the custody of the station’s anti-illegal drugs unit for investigation and for the filing of charges before the city prosecutor’s office against the suspects.
Afalla further stressed in his order, “Only the task force is allowed to conduct police operation.”
“We want to put an end to the organized vending of this regulated drug (Cytotec). This is in response to the call of the Quiapo Church rector and devotees at his parish,” he told the Inquirer.
“We have started cleaning up the vicinity of the church of herbal medicine vendors, who are often responsible for the sale of abortifacients. They sometimes use the herbal medicine they sell as a cover for the sale of Cytotec,” Afalla said.
He stressed that they are focused primarily on pinpointing the source of the abortifacients. “We are still confirming reports that persons connected with some of our law enforcement agencies are protecting these vendors,” the Station 3 commander said.
Last week, some 2,000 devotees and parishioners of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene marched from the church to City Hall calling for the city government to put a stop to the sale of Cytotec. They claimed that the rampant sale of the abortifacient in Quiapo, particularly around the church perimeter, has made the district into a distribution hub of Cytotec.
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