PRO-6 not disengaging from drug war – Binag

BY RUBY P. SILUBRICO

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

ILOILO City – The Police Regional Office 6’s (PRO-6) campaign against illegal drugs is continuing but through a different platform.

“Conduct of drug operations lang ang hindi namin magawa,” said Chief Superintendent Cesar Hawthorne Binag, regional police director.

The PRO-6 shares drug-related intelligence information to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), now the sole government body tasked to conduct antidrug operations, said Binag.

PDEA Region 6 director Wardley Getalla lamented that without the police’s help, the agency was having difficulty catching high-value drug targets.

“Nagtutulong naman tayo sa PDEA sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng information. We also help them through the demand reduction strategy by reaching out to students and the community. Drug operations lang ang hindi namin magawa pero our campaign against illegal drugs continues through information dissemination,” said Binag.

Yesterday, the PRO-6 launched its DARE – Drug Abuse Resistance Reduction Education – campaign.

It is a “demand reduction strategy” that would see policemen reaching out to youngsters in schools and teaching them the harmful effects of illegal drugs to personal health, family and community.

DARE aims to empower young people to say “no” to drugs, said PRO-6 spokesperson Superintendent Gilbert Gorero.

Binag confirmed discussing with Getalla recently how else could the PRO-6 help PDEA.

In a memorandum issued on Oct. 10, President Rodrigo Duterte directed the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Customs and all other agencies or ad hoc antidrug task forces to stop conducting anti-illegal drug operations and leave the job to PDEA.

Since then, PDEA-6 had only arrested seven drug personalities and all were street-level targets.

“Inaamin namin na medyo mahirap ang pagsugpo natin ng droga without the help of the police. Pero hanapan natin ng solusyon ‘yan. We will work harder and with close coordination with communities and barangay officials,” said Getalla.

Under the DARE scheme, policemen – prior to deployment to schools – would undergo a 10-day training on classroom management, teaching strategies, communication skills, and adolescent development among others.

Their ultimate goal is to mold the youth into healthy, self-reliant and confident individuals who do not have to depend on harmful illegal drugs.

Duterte removed the police from his war on drugs after his approval ratings suffered a beating.

The third quarter survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed that the President’s net public satisfaction and net trust ratings fell to their lowest since he assumed the presidency in 2016.

From a “very good” rating of +66 in June, the President’s net satisfaction ratings dropped to a “good” rating of +48, or a decrease of 18 points in September.

The same survey showed that Duterte’s net trust rating slid to a “very good” +60 in September from an “excellent” +75 rating last June.

Also, a nationwide survey conducted by SWS from June 23 to 26 showed that 54 percent did not believe that those felled in the war on drugs had put up resistance as claimed by the police./PN