Pelare: Peace and order situation in Talisay City is improving
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, chief of the Talisay City Police Station, said they are winning in the fight against illegal drugs.
He based his claims on his observation that the crime rate in their city started to drop since he assumed his position as police director on October 14, 2019.
Pelare said that many of their listed drug personalities have also either surrendered or were already arrested.
He said the cooperation that the city government and Talisay City residents gave played a major role in their success to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs and crime occurrences in their city.
“(When) we started with this city. It was very problematic about illegal drugs but before I assumed office daghan kaayog nadakpan diri (many were arrested here). Our war on drugs is very relentless, then we arrived, we thought that we cannot defeat it ultimately if we will not involve the community,” Pelare said.
Still, Pelare said he is well aware that their fight against illegal drugs is still far from over. They also have new players to monitor as part of their continuing effort against supply reduction.
Under his leadership, Pelare said, he worked on the reduction of the supply of illegal drugs by going after the peddlers and drug suppliers. As a result, the crime rate also dropped. For the first six months of 2021 alone, crime rate dropped by at least 40 percent if compared to the same period last year.
But Pelare was unable to provide comparative data saying that they continue to work on their database.
“Nahurot na. Our watchlist personalities nahurot na..mga first quarter of this year. Kay naa man gud mi mga nanga identify sauna nga nagduwa (We arrested them all. We arrested all personalities who were included in our watchlist as of the first quarter of this year. We were able to identify individuals who were earlier involved.) They were either arrested or surrendered,” he said.
Pelare said the implementation of their “Oplan Limpyo Talisay” played an important role in their campaign.
They follow four strategies in its implementation: relentless arrest, empowering the barangays, rehabilitation of users, and the implementation of drug-clearing operations.
In order to solicit the cooperation of Talisay City residents, they added house-to-house visits, distribution of food packs, and information dissemination to their campaign.
They do not just make arrests. They also conduct lectures to inform those who were arrested and those who surrendered of the ill effects of illegal drugs use.
Also, Pelare said they partnered with private donors in the implementation of projects like the construction of communal toilets in depressed communities.
“Ato silang gi-organize. (We organized the people.) Now when they see these initiatives, their support was given to us so mao nato nag tabang na sila nato (and that gave us a lot of help.) Nag tabang na sila og (they help us in the conduct of) roving, nagtabang na sila og (they help in) information dissemination. Then ang world sa katong mga (the world that) criminals (live in), nagkagamay (is becoming small),” Pelare said.
He was referring to civilian volunteers who are deployed to monitor peace and order and compliance with health protocols in the city’s 27 barangays.
Their force multipliers also provide assistance in their anti-drug operations.
Pelare said that their idea to tap the help of civilian volunteers worked.
He cited the example of Barangay Tangke, a drug haven, as an example.
In the past, shabu is traded to buyers on the streets just like any other goods.
But this already changed, Pelare said.
Residents, he said, played a very important role in demand reduction.
The occurrence of petty crimes like burglaries and theft in the barangays is also becoming scarce.
To date, Barangay Tapol is now enjoying its drug-cleared status while three more barangays – Jaclupan, Maghaway, and Manipis – are still undergoing evaluation by the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
“We are optimistic because we have already done (this) in Tapol, (and we have all the reasons) that we can (also) do it in these (other) barangays,” Pelare said.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte said that illegal drug activities were prevalent in Talisay City.
Mayor Gerald “Samsam” Gullas has accepted the president’s challenge to rid his city of illegal drugs.
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