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23 drug users, pushers in South Cotabato vow to reform

/ 02:48 PM June 09, 2016
The PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force raided before dawn Monday 12 houses in Brgy. West Crame, San Juan City allegedly converted into drug dens. Police arrested 33 individuals including an active policeman and a former village official. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

The regular anti-drug operations of the Philippine National Police have netted thousands of suspects.  But the drug menace remains.  This has prompted President-elect  Rodrigo Duterte to introduce harsh measures, such as the revival of the death penalty and large bounties for the capture — dead or alive –of drug lords and drug traffickers. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

KORONADAL CITY – Apparently fearing summary execution or public humiliation, at least 23 suspected drug users and pushers in Surallah, South Cotabato, voluntarily showed up at the police station and vowed to reform.

Chief Insp. Joel Fuerte, Surallah town police chief, said the suspected drug pushers’ surrender was a result of a police intensified campaign to eradicate illegal drug activities in Surallah.

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Those who showed up were asked to sign the Philippine National Police (PNP) certificates of undertaking to prove they voluntarily showed up and declare their dependence on illegal drugs.

Even before the well-publicized statement of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte offering a bounty to police officers if they kill persons engaged in illegal drugs, the Surallah PNP has been “cleansing” the town of illegal drug peddlers and users.

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Earlier, the local police furnished all barangay (village) chairpersons with the PNP lists of suspected drug users and pushers, warning them to stop illegal activities or face  consequences.

“Those who showed up and vowed to mend their ways have indeed reformed, they will be delisted from the PNP list,” Fuerte said.

Senior Supt. Franklin Alvero, South Cotabato police director, earlier urged all those involved in the illegal drug trade and with crime groups to surrender before the assumption to power of the Duterte administration on June 30.

A mother in Koronadal City said she would rather see her son in jail than see him dead under the no-nonsense campaign against illegal drugs.

According to a shabu user, the illegal substance is now being sold at a very low price.

“We hear from suppliers about their ‘closing-out sale,’ bagsak presyo, discounted price, inventory sale of prohibited substance in South Cotabato because of Mayor Duterte’s pronouncements on TV,” he said on condition that he remain unidentified.

At the South Cotabato provincial capitol, 10 employees have tested positive for illegal drug use, said Dr. Rogelio Aturdido, the provincial health chief.

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Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said job order employees found positive for prohibited drug use would be removed from service while the regular workers would be charged administratively and given a chance to reform.

The provincial government has offered a rehabilitation program for government workers involved in illegal drugs.  SFM/rga

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