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Taguig bars warned: Do part in drug war

One strike and you’re out of business.

“Any establishment used as a venue for illegal drug activities will be automatically shut down,” Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano warned on Wednesday in a meeting between bar owners operating in the city and the Philippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.

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Owners of bars in the cities of Taguig and Makati signed an affidavit of understanding allowing antidrug operatives in plainclothes within their establishments to conduct surveillance operations on their customers.

While Cayetano acknowledged the substantial revenue high-end bars contribute to the city, “[they] must not introduce, encourage or tolerate drug use.”

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She said Taguig would also study the proposal to include mandatory drug testing as an additional requirement for business registration. “We will refer it to the City Legal Office for review and make sure everything is in order,” Cayetano told bar owners.

The meeting was attended by at least 38 representatives of high-end bars in the two cities who asked for help from the PNP and local officials in making their establishments drug-free.

Affecting business

Southern Police District acting director Senior Supt. Tomas Apolinario Jr. said the meeting was requested by bar owners who complained that reports of drug use and sale within their establishments were affecting business.

He cited the recent arrests made at bars in the Burgos Street-Makati Avenue-Kalayaan Avenue triangle in Makati and Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

“The suspects arrested were not ordinary people. Some were foreigners and some were even connected to the [entertainment] industry,” Apolinario said.

Under the affidavit of understanding, bar owners in Taguig and Makati should provide the name of the individuals or groups found to be using or selling “shabu,” cocaine, marijuana, party drugs (ephedrine) and other prohibited drugs within the premises.

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They should also give copies of security camera footage as well as photos “of persons of interest,” and allow their employees to serve as witnesses to any drug-related incident or police operation.

Asked how long the operatives could stay inside the establishment, Apolinario said they would only make occasional checks on the toilets where drug transactions usually take place.

Dela Rosa clarified that the policemen would be armed during surveillance operations.

“Why bother entering the establishments if they are not armed and cannot enforce the law? Do you want them to do karate?” he said.  TVJ

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TAGS: Camp Bagong Diwa, Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde, Cocaine, Director General Ronald dela Rosa, marijuana, Mayor Lani Cayetano, NCRPO, Party Drugs, Senior Supt. Tomas Apolinario Jr., Southern police district, Taguig City
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