CAMP Simeon Ola, Legazpi City -- Suspected illegal drug pusher and user surrenderers in the six provinces of Bicol region have reached 45,000 as of this week, Police Regional Office 5 director Chief Supt. Melvin Buenafe reported on Wednesday.
Buenafe told reporters that President Rodrigo Duterte was right in declaring an extention of the PNP anti-drug campaign for another six months, as the PNP and the stakeholders are just beginning to uncover the extent of the illegal drugs trade in the region.
The Bicol police director said that when he was installed as Bicol police chief, there were only 8,079 personalities in the PNP’s regional drug watchlist when the PNP launched “Oplan Tokhang” and “Double Barrel” but thousands suspects surfaced.
PRO5 spokesperson Senior Insp. Maria Luisa Calubaquib said that although police operatives wanted to avoid fatalities, 55 suspects have been killed while resisting the police in the conduct of illegal drug search or “buy-bust” operations.
She said 36 other fatalities were killed by suspected drug dealers or “vigilantes”, allegedly to silence the victims, who were also involved in the drugs trade. The cases are now being investigated by the police.