The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Monday said that it has recently identified a narcotics group operating in Tagbilaran City, and is close to neutralizing the entire drug ring’s operation.
According to PDEA Bohol chief Nicholas Gomez, the group’s leader is now in government custody while most of its 21 members have either been arrested or have fled the province.
The PDEA has been employing a new strategy to identify personalities linked to a certain drug ring and to go after them simultaneously, Gomez said.
“Gi-focus namo sila tanan, so what happened nanglayas tanan members once they saw the pattern that their group is being targeted,” he added.
Gomez noted that the measure has been more effective in eradicating a drug organization compared to random arrests of various personalities from different narcotics groups.
“Once a group is neutralized, dili na sila maka-activate pa,” said Gomez. “While kung dakpon nimo usa ka member unya adto napud ka sa lain grupo, so mo active ra pud siya.”
Meanwhile, the PDEA office continued to receive reports indicating that barangay officials including tanods (village watchmen) have maintained involvement in illegal drug activities.
“Naa nay mga nadakpan na mga barangay konsehal, barangay tanod pero naa daghan names diri na mi-gawas so we are verifying this information,” said Gomez.
Since last month, the PDEA has been tasked by President Duterte to lead his government’s war on drugs nationwide barring other law enforcement agencies from conducting anti-drug operations.
The Philippine National Police has since been relegated to “maintain police visibility as a deterrent to illegal drug activities.”
Duterte’s directive came after the release of a Social Weather Stations survey which indicated a sharp decline in his satisfaction and trust ratings.
The president’s net satisfaction rating, although still considered “good,” dipped by 18 points to 48, according to the September poll with 1,200 Filipino respondents.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, through national media, earlier ascribed the rating decline to the alleged drug-related killing of three minors by PNP personnel in Metro Manila. (R. Tutas)