PDEA-7 clarifies: ‘We’re not blaming easing of quarantine restrictions for entry of shabu’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) clarified that the agency is not “blaming” the easing of quarantine restriction for the entry of illegal drugs in the region, particularly in Cebu.
PDEA-7 Director Levi Ortiz made this clarification through a statement released on its Facebook page on Tuesday, September 1, 2020.
“We want to clarify that we are not ‘blaming’ the easing of quarantine restrictions for the entry of shabu in the region, particularly in Cebu, as we believe that easing certain guidelines is a necessary move for us to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic,” the statement reads.
Read: Cebu City implements ‘more relaxed’ quarantine measures under MGCQ
Ortiz’ statement stated that no matter how strict the protocols will be due to the coronavirus pandemic, drug personalities will always find a way to continue with their illegal activities. He said that the implementation of the community quarantine may have lessened the supply of illegal drugs but it was not entirely eradicated since there is still a demand.
“Drug personalities will always try to find a way to circumvent the law and our efforts to stop their illegal activities. Even stricter quarantine guidelines did not completely deter unscrupulous individuals from peddling illegal drugs despite the health crisis, as evidenced by successful anti-illegal drug operations conducted even at the height of GCQ (general community quarantine in Cebu,” said Ortiz.
Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro, director of Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), also said the police did not ease up with regards to the anti-illegal drugs campaign even if they were busy helping implement strict quarantine protocols.
“There are some sectors that misinterpreted the pronouncement of PDEA-7, we are being blamed, the police… Remember that we have a lot successful anti-illegal drug operation. If you could remember even with the pandemic we were able to get four kilos, six kilos… The running total now, the PRO-7 initiated is already 59 kilos of shabu,” said Ferro.
Ferro assured the public that the PRO-7 knows that its duty is to protect the community against illegal drugs and other criminal activities. /bmjo
Read: PDEA-7 director says coordination with barangay will help deter illegal drug traders
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