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Pasig wants ‘leisure spots’ drug-free

MOA unites traders, cops in antidrug drive
/ 12:05 AM August 23, 2016

THE PASIG police have formally teamed up with owners of “leisure establishments” in the city, thus depriving drug pushers of a “hunting ground” for potential customers.

Last Friday, the Eastern Police District (EPD) led by Chief Supt. Romulo Sapitula signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the owners of over 100 resto-bars, videoke bars, massage parlors and clubs in
Pasig City.

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Under the agreement, the EPD shall deploy police teams and coordinate with businessmen in the city’s crime-prone areas. The establishment owners, on the other hand, are expected to share any information on the drug trade as well as crimes and provide full assistance to the police.

Hunting grounds

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“As we all know, leisure establishments sometimes become an avenue in releasing stress, enjoying [one’s self] and having fun… But some people try to abuse the place and take advantage of the vulnerability of those having a good time by selling [them] drugs…,” Sapitula said.

Abner Santoalla, a representative of the Sky High Bar restaurant in Barangay Kapitolyo, said he supported the agreement as he believed in its objectives and its impact on the antidrug drive.

He cited the positive effects of the administration’s current war against illegal drugs, particularly the decrease in the number of theft and robbery incidents.

Case-by-case basis

Asked if they would report any customer suspected of being in the drug trade, Santoalla replied: “It will be on a case-by-case basis but definitely, we will try our best to provide information on customers who are involved in illegal drugs.”

According to him, their company is against the use of illegal drugs with employees required to undergo drug testing annually.

Sapitula said that the agreement―which was particularly aimed at preventing the distribution and use of so-called party drugs―was expected to be replicated in other areas under the EPD’s jurisdiction: Marikina, Mandaluyong and San Juan City.

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Before the forging of the MOA, EPD deputy district director for operations Senior Supt. Edwin de Ocampo presided over a dialogue between Pasig police officials and leisure establishment owners.

The EPD will soon come up with a feedback mechanism to assess the effectivity of the arrangement.

More surrenderors

As of Aug. 15, “Oplan Tokhang” has resulted in the surrender of 571 pushers and 1,090 users in Pasig City. Of the 83 anti-illegal drug operations under “Oplan Double Barrel,” 105 drug users and 32 pushers were arrested.

In an earlier interview with the Inquirer, Sapitula said all drug surrenderors who finish their rehabilitation program shall be trained and given jobs through a partnership with the Philippine Constructors Association and Rotary Club of Pasig.

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TAGS: bars, Drugs, Eastern Police District, Metro, news, raves
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