Inmates tapped in war on drugs as shabu prices double in Cebu
EVEN inmates were not exempted from the national government’s Oplan TokHang in which drug suspects were asked to give up their lifestyle and commit to change.
Officials of Mandaue City Hall and the Mandaue City police visited the city jail to secure a commitment from the 894 inmates jailed on drug charges to help fight illegal drug trafficking behind bars.
This development came as the regional Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-7) noted an increase in the price of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu from P1,500 to P2,500.
PDEA Regional Director Yogi Ruiz told officials in yesterday’s Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting at the Capitol that the increase occurred due to the crackdown on drug trafficking at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and in Mindanao.
During yesterday’s jail visit by officials, inmates were told to sign a manifesto for this purpose.
They were also told to commit to follow prison rules and policies in exchange for livelihood and skills training to be provided by Mandaue City Hall.
Mandaue City Jail Warden Renante Rubio said that this piece of paper will be their ticket to avail the skills training and livelihood program prepared by Mandaue City government when they are released from the jail.
Mandaue City Vice-Mayor Carlo Fortuna said the city government will soon turn over the 800-square-meter area occupied by the regional Land Transportation Office to the Mandaue City Jail.
The city jail which can accommodate 500 people houses 1,378 inmates of which 894 of them were detained on drug charges.
Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, who heads the Police Regional Office, thanked the city government for helping them in their campaign to eliminate the drug menace which he said had reduced the city’s crime rate.
Senior Supt. Roberto Alanas, Mandaue City police chief, said they are willing to help inmates change their lives for the better if they cooperate and help them in their war on illegal drugs.
Inmates like Willy Loberanes, a 57-year-old resident of Barangay Paknaan, Mandaue City who had spent 21 years in jail on illegal drug charges, supported the program.
“Panahon na gyud nga usbon nato ang atong kinabuhi kay hilabihan kapait sa bilanggoan (It’s about time to really change our lives as prison life was very awful),” Loberanes said.
At the Capitol, Ruiz said 80 percent of the illegal drugs sold in Central Visayas come from the “Muntinlupa Boys” or the detained drug lords of the New Bilibid Prison.
Ruiz said new drug cartels have yet to enter the region.
He said they are tracking down dealers who consort with banks and social media outlets to expand their trade.
“Now they deposit the payments in banks and take a photo of the receipt and send it through Viber (a short message service application). But we already secured cooperation from the banks and they are now easy to find,” he said.
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