With drug lord’s gone in CV, PDEA-7’s shifts focus to high value targets

By: Alven Marie A. Timtim November 20,2019 - 09:36 PM

Thess Tiuzen, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas deputy regional director, (fifth from left) says the agency is going after high value targets during a forum in Cebu City on November 19. | Alven Marie A. Timtim

CEBU CITY, Philippines — With the drug lords no longer in Central Visayas, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) is now focusing on high value targets.

Thess Tiuzen, PDEA-7 deputy regiional director, said that most of the known drug lords operating in Central Visayas had already transferred location based on their monitoring and case buildup.

Tiuzen said that the active implementation of the programs in relation to the anti-illegal drugs advocacy and the intensified operations of the law enforcers, prompted these drug lords to flee Region 7.

“Because of the active law enforcement, gipangita sila (they were hunted down),” said Tiuzen.

She said that authorities in Region 7 were focusing on new drug syndicates and other high value targets.

According to data from PDEA-7, from January to October 2019, PDEA-7 and other law enforcement agencies in the region had arrested 458 people, who were considered as high value targets.

High value targets are those, who were caught with more than 50 grams of illegal drugs and they were also drug peddlers who could dispose of at least 50 grams of suspected shabu in a week, said Leia Alcantara, PDEA-7 spokesperson.

Alcantara said in a phone interview that public personalities, artists, even elected officials, government workers or even foreigners would be considered high value targets if they would be caught with illegal drugs regardless of the amount of illegal drugs confiscated.

She also said that drug den maintainers would also be classified under this category since they cater to groups of people, who use drugs and provide them with a specific area to buy and use them.

 Meanwhile, Tiuzen warned those drug lords, who managed to elude arrest in operations in Central Visayas, that eventually they would be arrested as government agencies were one in fighting illegal drugs in the country.

She also cited the relentless followup operations and investigations against these drug personalities./dbs

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