Sinas: Expect more ‘chilling’ drug operations in Cebu
WITH the President declaring that the drug war will not only remain relentless but will be “chilling” if need be, the Philippine National Police in Central Visayas warned drug pushers and their protectors: “You better stop now.”
Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), said that those involved in the illegal drugs trade in Cebu are warned, as he vowed to step up the police’s campaign against narcotics.
Sinas said he instructed all PRO-7 operatives to go after every drug suspect, whether rich or poor.
“This intensified campaign against illegal drugs chooses no one. Whoever you are, as long as you’re into this illegal trade, the long arms of the law will soon get them,” said Sinas in an interview on Tuesday.
In his third State of the Nation Address (Sona) last Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte made it clear that the war against illegal drugs is far from over.
“Where before, the war resulted in the seizure of illegal drugs worth millions of pesos, today, they run [into] billions in peso value. I can only shudder at the harm that those drugs could have caused had they reached the streets of every province, city, municipality, barangay and community throughout the country,” he said.
“This is why the illegal drugs war will not be sidelined. Instead, it will be as relentless and chilling, if you will, as on the day it began,” he added.
In response to President Duterte’s statement, Sinas said Cebuanos can expect more anti-drug operations in the coming days.
“We will enhance our operations and it will really be chilling (as the President announced),” he said.
Since the administration launched its relentless campaign against illegal drugs in July 2016, at least 195 drug suspects in Central Visayas were killed in alleged shootouts with policemen and the
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7).
At least 213 others were gunned down by still unknown assailants, while some 13,050 drug suspects were arrested in Cebu and other parts of the region.
More to come
Sinas said law enforcers are not done yet.
“So if you are involved in the illegal drugs trade, you better stop now. If you’re on the verge of arrest, you better surrender peacefully because our operatives are also ready to protect themselves,” he explained.
“Don’t force us to defend ourselves,” he added.
The bloody war against illegal drugs in the country has been criticized by human rights advocates and the Catholic Church since it claimed the lives of thousands of Filipinos without due process.
But President Duterte seemed unfazed by the criticisms.
“If you think that I can be dissuaded from continuing this fight because of (your) demonstrations, your protests, which I find, by the way, misdirected, then you got it all wrong,” he said.
“Your concern is human rights, mine is human lives. Human rights to me means giving Filipinos, especially those at the society’s fringes, a decent and dignified future through the social and physical infrastructures necessary to better their lives,” he added.
Supt. Artemio Ricabo, deputy director for administration of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said there will be no letup in their campaign against illegal drugs.
“If we stop being aggressive, the problem on illegal drugs may thrive,” he said. /WITH CORRESPONDENT BENJIE B. TALISIC
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