THE National Capital Region Police Office yesterday sounded the alarm bell on the increasing number of minors being arrested for involvement in illegal drug activities in Metro Manila which comes in the wake of proposals to subject even elementary students to random drug testing.
NCRPO director, Chief Superintendent Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said that from January 1 to June 17, 2017, NCRPO agents arrested a total of 88 minors for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The number of minors arrested during the period was broken down as follows: 20 by the Northern Police District, 20 by the Eastern Police District; 23 by the Manila Police District; 12 by the Southern Police District; and 13 by the Quezon City Police District.
Eleazar said that from January 1 to last June 17, the number has increased to 116 already with the NPD arresting 18; the EPD with 15; the MPD with 35; the SPD with 21; and the QCPD with 217.
The other day, Quezon City Police District director, Chief Superintendent Joselito T. Esquivel Jr. announced the arrest of two drug pushers and the seizure of about P300,000 worth of high grade marijuana in a follow-up operation in Pasig City.
Esquivel identified the suspects as Jayson Proda, 24; and Julius Cesar Ilagan, 32, both residents of C. Victorino Streeet, Villa Alfonso, Barangay Bambang, Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City.
The two were arrested hours after two suspects, one of them a 17-year old Grade 10 student was arrested while in possession of some P10,000 worth of marijuana along 13th Avenue corner 15th Avenue in Cubao, Q.C. Esquivel said the two suspects pointed to Proda as their source of marijuana.
The NCRPO chief earlier proposed that school teachers and members of Parents-Teachers Associations search the lockers and bags of their students for drugs and deadly weapons noting a number of cases wherein young students have been caught for illegal possession of drugs, home-made weapons and knives.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chair, Director General Aaron N. Aquino also proposed the mandatory drug-testing of teachers and students in Grade 4 and up. “Iyung mga series of arrest na ginagawa natin, iyung nai-involve ay mga estudyante saka mga teacher. Iyung pinaka-youngest naming naaresto is I think, 10 years old pa lang,” the PDEA chief said.
This year, dozens of minors acting as drug couriers in Metro Manila and other parts of the country have been arrested by PDEA and Philippine National Police agents in buy-bust operations. The minor suspects have been turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
According to Aquino, they are coordinating their proposal with the Dangerous Drugs Board chaired by Secretary Catalino S. Cuy and the Department of Education headed by Secretary Leonor Briones who has maintained that parents must give their consent first before their sons or daughters are subjected to a drug test.