MAGANES: Drug-free Pangasinan?

January 9, 2018 at 10:42 am Leave a comment


vir maganes

 Did the Pangasinan Provincial Police Office (PPPO) meet its target to declare the province drug-free by December 31, 2017?

This is a question asked by many Pangasinenses considering that 2017 has just ended. As of November 2017, there were nine towns and one city that have been declared as drug free in Pangasinan leaving 35 towns and two cities that are yet to be declared. However, during the KBP Forum- Pangasinan Chapter held last January 4, Police Chief Inspector Norman Florentino, also the OIC Chief of PPPO-Police Community Relations Board, said  almost all towns and cities have been recommended as drug-free pending validation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Regional Oversight Committee.

Declaring Pangasinan as totally drug-free province will now pose a great challenge to the  drug enforcement agencies particularly the Philippine National Police (PNP). There might be possibilities that the drug surrenderers will go back to their old habits of using and peddling illegal drugs especially shabu. How are these surrenderers monitored in the villages? While the rehabilitation process is now the responsibility of the local government units, much has to be done by the PDEA, PNP and other members of the oversight committees to ensure that the drug menace will not proliferate once again. We have yet to hear that a high-value target on illegal drugs in Pangasinan has been nabbed by the PNP.

While there are speculations that the drug menace will not be totally eradicated in Pangasinan and in the entire country, we just hope that the campaign against illegal drugs will be heightened by PDEA and other enforcement agencies. Illegal drugs are multi-billion business in the country that could even sneak in the country through the Bureau of Customs and drug mules. It has penetrated the detention facilities and remote villages making it as peace and order hazards and illegal lucrative business operations.

******

The “Iwas Paputok” campaign of the Department of Health (DOH) has paid off in the whole country especially here in Pangasinan. Apparently, there was a decline of firecracker victims with the incessant information drive of the PNP as well as the local government units (LGUs). In Pangasinan there were only 31 victims and no casualties recorded. There was no victim also of stray bullets, which has been a problem in previous years. This means that the government could totally eradicate the culture of using firecrackers during new years’ eve. Thanks to the political will of President Rodrigo Duterte of issuing directives of not manufacturing high-end firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

In Pangasinan, we have to laud the PPPO under the leadership of Police Director Ronald Oliver Lee for a generally casualty-free new year’s eve. Pangasinenses are now becoming disciplined on the use of high-end firecrackers if given proper information through massive campaigns. I have yet to see in succeeding years that this will be sustained in order to save lives, limbs and future of the young Pangasinenses. We have to learn from the past experiences where victims of firecrackers were on the rise.

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President Duterte has indeed given the full trust and confidence to PNP National Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa who is set to retire on January 21. Dela Rosa’s term as Chief PNP was extended until April 21 or three more months at the helm of PNP.

If we recall, Dela Rosa has been heavily criticized for spearheading the “war on illegal drugs” under the OPlan Double Barrel (Operation Tokhang and Operation High Value Target), which has allegedly killed 12,000 drug suspects including minors. However, this figure was denied by the PNP leadership to the consternation of human rights watchdogs.

During a press briefing lately, Dela Rosa, whose tour of duty is extended, “vowed that more drug personalities will be arrested’. Yes, you read it right- they will be arrested and hopefully with due process and not to be extra-judicially killed. He also promised to give his all during the extension of his term.

So, his being appointed to the Bureau of Corrections will still be sidelined, but a work waiting for him after April 21. We just hope for the best to General Dela Rosa.

Speaking of PNP officials’ tours of duty, it seemed that there’s rigodon at the local levels. Last January 5, Dagupan City has a new OIC-Chief of Police in the person of Police Superintendent Jandale I. Sulit.

Sulit who was a former chief of Directorate for Investigation and Management of Eastern Police District of Manila replaced Police Superintendent Frank Ortiz, who I heard from the grapevine will be the incoming OIC- Chief of Police of Urdaneta City. Where will OIC-Chief of Police Neil Miro of Urdaneta City go? That’s we have to find out.

Last December 2017, we have also a new PNP Regional Director of Region I Police Chief Superintendent Romulo E. Sapitula who replaced Regional Director Charlo C. Collado. Sapitula’s first directive to Pangasinan Police Director Ronald Oliver Lee was to eradicate illegal jueteng in Pangasinan in support to the PCSO’s call to assist the new player of Small Town Lottery (STL) Speed Game, Inc. Rapid Go Gaming Corporation has ceased to be the STL franchise holder in Pangasinan after it failed to remit at least P1-billion of its presumptive monthly retail receipt (PMRR).

With this, can expect that “illegal bookies” of STL will soon be stopped in Pangasinan? And, could this be possible?

(For comments and suggestions, email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.com or at virgilmaganes42@gmail.com. Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at www.virgilmaganes.wordpress.com. Read the online edition of Northern Watch at www.northwatch.wordpress.com)

Entry filed under: News.

UKAY UKAY Cops asked to assist Speed Game

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