TAGBILARAN CITY, June 18 (PIA) –Only 251 of Bohol’s 1,109 barangays stand out unaffected by drugs, a report from the Regional Peace and Order Council meeting recently showed.
The picture proved alarming as this constitutes only about 22.63% of Bohol’s barangays remaining drug-free while some 858 barangays are in different states of drug affectation.
Deputy Director for the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Wardley Getalla, in his report before the region’s peace and order council chiefs, said, out of the region’s 2,446 barangays, some 1,194 or 48.81%, are drug affected in any form: from slight to moderate and then seriously affected.
While Cebu, which is largely where the bulk supply of drugs going to Bohol comes from, has 1,203 barangays, some 912 barangays remain unaffected.
With only 22% of Bohol barangays remaining steadfast, Cebu contends with 75% of its barangays clean.
In the report, Director Getalla also showed that 566 of Bohol’s barangays are slightly affected, 284 as moderately affected and 8 barangays seriously affected.
In Cebu, only 80 are slightly affected, 206 moderately affected and 22 seriously affected.
For Siquijor, regional drug enforcement records showed that 89 of 184 barangays or 66.41% of barangays in the island province remain unaffected.
This as PDEA 7 showed 12 Siquijor barangays slightly affected and 33 barangays moderately affected.
Siquijor owns no barangays in serious drug affectation.
As per Dangerous Drugs Board categorization on drug affectation, slightly affected means there is the existence of drug users [in the barangays,] but [there is] no known drug pushers/traffickers.
By moderately affected, it means there is in existence, at least one suspected pusher/trafficker, Dir Getalla explained.
By seriously affected, it means there is the existence of at least one suspected drug laboratory, drug den, drug dive, drug resort, or similar establishments.
This too as PRO 7 admitted, “street-level drug pushing is rampant in the region, with drug dens abounding in slum areas.”
Another thing that complicates the police pursuit of neutralizing drugs, is the apparent use of a loophole in the law.
“Drug syndicates employ couriers, including minors, who are well briefed on their lack of criminal culpability, when dealing with large amounts of drugs in order to evade arrest,” Getalla said.
“Drug dealers use money remittance centers and banks for financial transactions,” he continued.
The regional authorities also reported that even in their being put in jails, some enterprising drug personalities continue their operations by remote.
“Drug trafficking activities of arrested persons continue despite being incarcerated, through cellular phone communications and visitors,” according to PDEA.
This is especially true as Bohol District Jail guards intercepted countless attempts to smuggle drugs into the facility. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)