STEPPED-UP anti-narcotics campaign by the Police Regional Office 12 in Central Mindanao since last July 1 has resulted in the killing of 57 armed drug dealers in gunbattles with the local police and the arrest of 886 others, PRO12 director Chief Supt. Cedrick G. Train said yesterday.
Train said some 1,880 plastic sachets containing shabu were also confiscated from the suspects during those operations which also saw the destruction of a sizeable amount of fully-grown marijuana plants and seedlings in several clandestine cannabis plantation sites in the region.
The PRO12 director said he has ordered an intensified conduct of Oplan: Tokhang and Project: Double Barrel of Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa despite criticisms being hurled on the police force, particularly by several human rights groups.
“Amid those criticisms, we at the PRO12 remain firm in our stand to curtail drugs by whatever legal means. It might be disheartening to note that some have turned out to be unhappy with our actions and have been blaming the police. However, this does not affect the morale of our men because we know that we are just doing what we should do and that we are doing it within the limitations set by the law,” the official said.
The member of PNP Academy Class 1984 said they are always saddened by the loss of lives of persons during the conduct of anti-narcotics operations. “That is why we are intensifying our “tokhang” and we are appealing to those who are involved to please change their ways and if they will be subjected to operations, do not resist your law enforcers so that nobody will get hurt,” he said.
Train maintained that if confronted with resistance from armed suspects, “our police officer has to stand his ground and decide within three seconds on who will live: the innocent, him as police officer or the suspect to which of course the police officer will definitely choose his mandate.” PRO12 spokesperson Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr. said that as of press time, all police units across Central Mindanao are continuing their relentless campaign to arrest illegal drug traffickers and are under orders to see to it that the law will be fully enforced without fear or favor.