None of Getafe’s 24 villages have been cleared of illegal drugs although narcotics activities significantly dwindled in the town since the death of a local drug lord based in one of its islands, said police.
According to Getafe police investigator PO3 Roel Lagura, drug trade in Getafe plummeted after alleged Visayas drug lord Rowen “Yawa” Secretaria was killed in a police anti-drug operation in 2016 at his residence in Brgy. Banacon.
“There’s really a big difference. Our area was noisy, out-of-town people go here frequently, and even the seas were busy with pumpboats. But now, all you can see are fishermen,” said Lagura in Cebuano.
Suspicious individuals from outside of Getafe were no longer seen in areas in the town which used to be bustling drug trade hubs at nighttime, he added.
These areas throughout Getafe including its island-villages used to be rife with illegal drug transactions carried out by suspects on board motorcycles and pumpboats.
“We no longer see people from other towns now. That’s one of the reasons why we believe that there are no more suppliers here,” Lagura said.
However, the Getafe police is taking its time in officially declaring its villages cleared of narcotics trade despite the marked decrease in illegal drug activities.
According to Lagura, police are moving to avoid any resurgence of the drug trade in the town’s barangays once these are declared drug-free.
“Our chief is making sure that once we declare, it would be really zero illegal drug activities,” he said.
In its continued bid to declare the town drug-free, police maintained its intensified monitoring across the town particularly in island-villages off mainland Getafe.
The municipality has nine island-barangays which are near Cebu where most of the province’s drug supply is sourced as previously indicated by authorities.
One of the said islands named Barangay Banacon was the hideout of Secretaria who was tagged as among the region’s top drug personalities even prior the current administration’s war on drugs.
He was killed in the said island in a shootout against raiding police operatives in May, 2016.