4 Quezon towns declared ‘drug free’ by PNP, PDEA
LUCENA CITY – At least four towns in Quezon province have been declared “drug free” after records showed their villages have been cleared of drug users and pushers, police said Tuesday.
Senior Supt. Rhoderick Armamento, Quezon provincial police director, tagged the towns of Pitogo, Plaridel, General Luna and the island town of Quezon as already cleared of drugs. This means they no longer have drug-affected barangays or villages. The formal recognition from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency was issued in February.
“The three towns will only submit the documentary requirements,” Armamento said. The declaration was based on the updated report of the Quezon Police Provincial Office on their implementation of “Project Double Barrel” from July 1, 2016 to March 6, 2017, a copy of which was sent to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Report showed that at the start of the government’s intensified drug campaign after President Duterte assumed office, at least 627 villages out of the the province’s 1,242 villages were affected by problems spawned by illegal drugs.
“We’ve already cleared 225 barangays out of that 627,” Armamento said.
A “drug-cleared” status means that authorities have verified and confirmed the non-availability of narcotics supplies in the barangay, and the absence of drug transit or transshipment activities. In layman’s terms, this means that no drugs are being used, delivered or sold in and from the villages.
“But we’re not putting our guards down. Our aim is to continue our pursuit of our target local drug personalities, eradicate the drug problems in the remaining affected areas and maintain the drug-free status of the cleared areas,” Armamento said.
Police records showed that at least 24,255 drug users and pushers surrendered to authorities in the province during the same period. At least 1,411 drug suspects were also arrested.
The death toll in drug-related killings in the province has risen to 59 since President Duterte took office.
At least 25 were reportedly killed in police operations while 34 were classified as “deaths under investigation,” as they were gunned down by unidentified assassins.
Police confiscated a total of 2,199 grams of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) worth P4 million and 1,633 grams of marijuana worth P90,000. SFM
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