HAPPY DAYS AGAIN FOR DRUG DEALERS? – Negros top cop says drug trade back in action

CHIEF Supt. Renato Gumban (right), Negros Island police director, in a staff meeting. (File)

BACOLOD City – The regional director of the Negros Island Region (NIR) police office said illegal drug trade is on the rise again after the PNP was stripped of the responsibility to run after drug dealers.

Chief Supt. Renato Gumban said they noted a spike in illegal drug activities in the region since January 2017.

He also said that crime rate in the region is also spiraling after the national command ordered all PNP units to cease and desist from anti-illegal drugs operations.

Gumban said they can no longer act on tips regarding illegal drug operations in the region as the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has taken over the lead role of curbing the drug trade. For now, all they can do is to relay the information to PDEA.

“There is a time gap. Because of this, by the time the PDEA acts on it, the suspects have already escaped,” he added.

Gumban also said that PDEA lacks the personnel to carry out the anti illegal drug operation.

The PNP ordered the suspension of police anti-drug operations after several officers in Metro Manila were involved in the abduction, extortion and murder of a Korean businessman who was tagged to the drug trade.

The officers allegedly used Oplan Tokhang, an anti-illegal drug strategy of the PNP, to extort money from the Korean’s family.

Aside from the suspension, the PNP also deactivated anti-illegal drugs operation task groups in all levels to give way to the cleansing of police ranks.

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