Digos City becomes transshipment point for shabu
DIGOS CITY, Philippines – Mayor Joseph Peñas on Thursday agreed with observations that the city has become the transshipment point for methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.
Speaking to reporters following Wednesday’s arrest here of four more persons, who yielded some P900,000 worth of suspected shabu and firearms, Peñas said he would not deny that the city has become the most lucrative area for drug traffickers to conduct their business among Davao del Sur areas.
“This is because we are so strategically located and that we are the gateway to some major cities in Mindanao,” he said.
The city is located between Davao City in the east, General Santos City in the west, and Cotabato City in the north.
Senior Supt. Michael John Dubria, provincial police director, said a large volume of shabu coming through the city, which authorities had recently seized, came from the north – the location of the provinces of North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao.
“It is still inconclusive but we suspect that a big-time syndicate is based in either of these provinces,” he said.
Supt. Querubin Manalang, city police director, said for the month of August alone, nine persons have been arrested for drug trafficking.
They included the three men and a woman, who were busted during Wednesday night’s operation in Barangay Matti here by police and village authorities headed by Matti village chief Ian Escobarte.
Chief Inspector Dave Mejia, head of the provincial unit of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said authorities cased the suspects for about eight months before they were finally arrested on Wednesday evening.
“It was as if we played hide and seek because they were so elusive. On Wednesday evening, we had a chance to take them in,” he said.
Mejia said the suspects even tried to outwit authorities by traveling with a two-year-old child with them.
“We were so lucky when they bit the buy-bust,” he said.
Davao del Sur Gov. Claude Bautista said Wednesday’s drug bust, which also resulted in the confiscation of some 75 grams of suspected shabu, firearms of various calibers and cash, had proven anew that coordination between law enforcement units was crucial.
“The drug problem is so huge that we would fail if the various police units had acted independently,” he said.
Bautista also urged residents of the province to cooperate with authorities to minimize, if not totally eradicate the drug problem.
“Our authorities could not do it alone. If we have information on unusual activities in our area, we should inform them so they could immediately act. The drug problem does not concern a particular sector only. A concerted effort was needed to put a stop on it,” he said.
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