The business community issued the challenge to law enforcers not to get contented with the arrest of small fries involved in the drugs operation in the province.
“If you claimed that you have identified the drug lords, then arrest them after almost a year of massive crackdown against drugs, either in buy bust or raids conducted during the term of PNP Prov’l Director Dennis Aguistin, a known drug buster.”
The challenge was issued by the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) in front of officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA) who got invited to attend the meeting of the businessmen group’s board of directors at the Metro Center Hotel last Thursday.
Argeo Melisimo, BCCI executive vice president said the manhunt for drug personalities should include the financiers, rather than just those peddling shabu whose arrests are of quite significance in volume.
“Let’s not just trim the trees, but, uproot it,” the businessmen’s group sounded offÂ the call if only to prove that law enforcers are not just after the publicity of arresting the pushers who are marketing the illegal drugs as if selling hot cakes.
“Eliminate the water so the fish will die,” commented lawyer Jun Amora, BCCI trustee.
Medlisimo asked the PDEA and PNP on what the chamber can extend as assistance in the campaign against the proliferation of drugs in almost all nooks in the community.
Olaivar admitted that because of the several entry points in the province, including those in the islets, the enforcers could never be enough to block the entry of illegal drugs here.
Aside from Olaivar, P/Supt. Jeffrey Caballos, PInsp. David Niluag also attended the meeting.
For PDEA were Jigger Juniller, Erwin Purisima, Heny Batoon and CC Esparfero.
The meeting presided by BCCI president Albeer Uy was also attended by Prosecutor Julius Cesar together with lawyer Ted Lagang, president of the Integrated Bar of the Phils. (IBP-Bohol chapter).
The discussion between the businessmen and the law enforcers came as an offshot of the chamber’s concern on a very low conviction rate of drug personalities here.
Prosecutor CesarÂ said that most of the cases filed by the police against drug suspects will most likely be dissmised due to some technical lapses in the preparation of the cases filed in court.
Atty. Cesar, said that from January to March 2015, there were no convictions of drug related cases in the province. InsteadÂ there were nine acquittals and nine dismissals recorded.
â€œPag dili matunong ang procedure on how they arrest, how they prepare the inventory,Â wa nay mahimo ang prosecutor. Kami nay mag dupa-dupa sa court para i-amend ang mga sayop, and eventually, the court will notice that which results to dismissalâ€ Atty. Cesar said.
PNP Representative, PSSupt. Cristobal, seconded Atty. Cesarâ€™s statement that some of the requirements in the conduct of the arrests were not being followed by the police officers.
Regarding the dismissed cases, PSSupt. Cristobal said they have what they call as â€˜investigative lapsesâ€™ intended for the police officers assigned on a certain dismissed case. In fact, in some instances, an administrative case will be filed against the certain police officer who commit glaring lapses in the conduct of the arrest. However,Â if the lapses are due to technicalities, we will correct it with the help of the technical adviser provided by the provincial government.
On the part of the IBP, a yearly training for police investigators and seminars are being conducted. However, these trained cops are not the all the time in the arresting group thus errors are committed by those untrained policemen.
Atty. Cesar corrected PDEA’s claim that all drug operations be cleared by them citing jurisprudence that PNP can conduct operations even without the PDEA’s authorization.
BCCI trustee Norris Oculam commented that information drive in schools and business establishments should be a continious program in the campaign against drugs.
The chamber officers will consult with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on how the business establishments can conduct surprise drug tests in their respective offices particularly on the concern on whether an employer can force his employees to the drug test.Â (with reports fromÂ FloraÂ MaeÂ Gudez)