The Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) arrested 732 individuals for drug charges in 2019, posting a whopping 114 percent increase in the number of apprehended drug-linked suspects compared to the previous year after the province’s new top cop whipped local police stations into shape.
BPPO director Col. Jonathan Cabal who took over the helm of the local police force in August last year attributed the rise in the number of arrests of alleged drug personalities to the increased number of anti-drug operations and the establishment of Drug Enforcement Units (DEU) in each of the province’s three districts.
“Nakita ko yung low compliance of our police stations so what I did is kumuha ako ng operative sa bawat station…so gumawa ako ng district DEU,” said Cabal. “Of course, tinakot ko din yung mga hepe na baka ma-relieve kayo, makakasuhan kayo.”
Data from the BPPO showed that the province’s various police stations and units made the 732 arrests through 572 anti-drug operations in 2019 which were higher than the number of operations conducted in 2018 at 361 which resulted in the apprehension of 341 individuals.
Although Cabal was only police director starting August 2019, data showed that more than half of the arrested suspects in 2019 at 417 people were collared under his watch in just five months from August to December.
The same BPPO data showed that the police seized P59.4 million (8,745 grams) worth of shabu in 2019 which is higher by 63 percent than the worth of shabu confiscated in 2018 at P21.6 million (3,189 grams).
Cabal said that the increase in the number of arrests made and shabu seized proved that the BPPO intensified its anti-drug campaign, contrary to allegations indicating that the seizure of more illegal drugs meant that narcotics trade in the province thrived.
“Nagiging aggressive lang yung campaign natin. Pag hininto ko yung anti-illegal drugs operation dito sa Bohol at sabihin kong ‘walang manghuhuli’ at walang nahuhuli, will it prove na walang gumagamit ng drugs?” said Cabal.
“Double-edged sword yun, pero mas maganda na mas madaming nahuhuli na nagvviolate,” he added.
Cabal cited the seizure of shabu worth P10.2 million in Tagbilaran City and P6.8 million in Clarin as the largest single-operation drug busts for 2019 which authorities had earlier noted to have made a large dent on the narcotics trade in the province.
The anti-drug operation in Tagbilaran City led to the arrest of high-value drug target Alan Ben Caberte while the operation in Clarin resulted in the killing of cousins Esterio Quiño and Isagani Cañete who allegedly resisted arrest and were supplying drugs to two-thirds of the province. (with A. Doydora)