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Sep 11 2016

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Davao Aftermath: RPOC-7 to public: “Don’t tag, share, disseminate any unverified info especially thru social media”

THE REGIONAL PEACE AND ORDER COUNCIL (RPOC-7) convened on Monday following the call for a special meeting.

The urgent request specifically came from PNP Regional Director Gen. Noli Talino right after the Friday night bombing in Davao which left 14 people killed and 67 others wounded.

“The RPOC is now appealing to the public to be cautious in sharing and disseminating information through social media and to refrain from posting on social networking sites reports from questionable sources and supposed to be news articles which are still unverified,” Gen. Talino strongly pointed out.

The strong appeal from the Regional PNP Chief came as a result of several reported bomb scares and threats following the Davao bombing.

“This special meeting is also to remind all law enforcement agencies that the relentless war against illegal drugs is still on,” he clarified.

Gov. Edgar M. Chatto temporarily presided over the special meeting of the RPOC at Camp Sergio Osmena in Cebu City.

This was in lieu of Regional Director Atty. Rene K. Burdeos of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG-7) as presiding officer; and to heed the latter’s request for the time being that said seat is currently vacant after the termination of term of Cebu Governor Hilario Davide, Jr. as RPOC-7 Chair who, incidentally, was also not in attendance.

DRUG AFFECTATION

PSupt. Henry Binas, Regional Investigation and Detection Management Chief, reported that the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB’s) 2015 National Household Survey found out that there were around 1.8 million drug users in the country wherein 38.36% of which are unemployed.

In 2015, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reported that 26.91% or 11,319 out of the country’s 42,065 barangays were “drug affected” (mostly in urban areas).

A barangay is said to be drug-affected when there is a determined existence of drug user, pusher, manufacturer, marijuana cultivator or other drug personalities regardless of number in the area.

On record, the National Capital Region (NCR) has the highest rate of affectation with 92.96% of the region’s barangays, followed by CALABARZON at 33.78%.

Based on PDEA’s 2015 arrest data, methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu (90%) reportedly tops the list of most abused illegal drugs, followed by marijuana and costly party drugs like cocaine and ecstasy.

Binas said that the afore-cited statistical data is indicative of the worsening drug problem that has victimized mostly the underprivileged and impoverished sector of the society; and despite that much has already been done and accomplished in the national campaign to eradicate illegal drugs, yet the problem persists and it continues to breed social ills.

Apparently, he added, in the quest to go after high-level drug traffickers, the government seems to have overlooked the worsening drug problem at the grassroots level.

PSupt. Binas gave out the information that the three transnational drug organizations operating in the Philippines are the Filipino-Chinese Drug Syndicates, the African Drug Syndicate (ADS), and the Mexican-Sinaloa Drug Cartel.

“It is very important to note,” PSupt. Binas said, that “these drug syndicates are using the nautical highway as their operation routes, and minors, who serve as their peddlers.”

Using public and private vehicles and the RORO system, drug supplies are distributed throughout the region.

In Bohol, out of the province’s 1,109 barangays, only 27 are unaffected by the illegal drugs trade.

All in all, we have 3.3M drug-affected Filipinos with only 600,000 surrenderers in the entire country.
NO LET-UP OPERATIONS

PDEA Regional Director Yogi Filemon L. Ruiz gave an update of the consolidated drug situationer in Central Visayas.

He reported that the prices of illegal drugs, especially shabu, have gone higher, which is good news, indicating scarcity in the market.

In Bohol, the price of shabu in the market has increased from P300 to P500 per sachet, from P2,500 to P3,400 per gram, and from P12,000 to P16,000 per 5g or “bulto.”

The Police Regional Office (PRO-7), concurrent with its mission and functions through its Provincial, City Police Offices and Regional Support Units (RSUs) and its mandate to support PDEA pursuant to RA No. 9165, is implementing the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Campaign Plan “PROJECT DOUBLE BARREL” to clear all drug-affected barangays across Central Visayas, conduct no let-up operations against illegal drugs personalities; and dismantle drug syndicates.

 

PROJECT: DOUBLE-BARREL TWO-PRONGED APPROACH

PSSupt. Marciano Batiancela, Jr., Regional Operations and Plans Division Chief, said that the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Campaign Plan – “Project: Double Barrel” will be conducted in a two-pronged approach, namely: PROJECT TOKHANG and PROJECT HVT/LVT.

The lower barrel approach will be the conduct of “PROJECT TOKHANG” in all drug-affected barangays throughout Central Visayas in coordination with the Local Government Units (LGUs), particularly the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), stakeholders, and other law enforcement agencies.

The upper barrel approach will be the conduct of “PROJECT HVT/LVT” by dedicated focus teams from PRO7 Headquarters, PPOs, CPOs down to police stations.

The focus teams shall be composed of investigators, intelligence operatives and tactical personnel generated from Regional Support Units and Public Safety Forces.

The double barrel concept is based on a double barrel gun, which fires two shots in just one squeeze of the trigger, the operation of which will simultaneously attack big-time drug lords and street-level pushers.

PSSupt. Batiancela said that they now are also making use of “TAPHANG” or Tapok, Hangyo, where suspected illegal drug personalities are being called together and are requested or advised to surrender and stop their illegal trade.

 

RULES ON CHECKPOINTS

The PNP and AFP are now having joint security operations by conducting checkpoints in strategic places and increasing patrol visibility.

Gen. Talino clarified that “we are not under martial law” and advised civilian members of the ten checkpoint rules, stating that checkpoints must be in well-lighted, strategic places, properly identified and manned by uniformed personnel and must be officer-led.

He said that upon approach, a driver should slow down, dim his headlights, turn on cabin lights but is never required to step out of his vehicle.

He also advised everyone to be cautious and lock all doors of their vehicles because, “only visual search is allowed.”

Gen. Talino stressed that drivers and passengers should “not submit to physical or bodily search nor are obliged to open glove compartments, trunks or bags, except in cases when there were prior reports of violations.”

“Only ordinary or routine questions may be asked but you should be courteous and firm with your answers, assert your rights, and have presence of mind and please, do not panic.”

“It is quite important,” he said, to “keep your driver’s license and car registration handy and within reach.”

However, he cautioned that “in cases of blatant violations by PNP or AFP personnel, “be ready to use your cellphones anytime and speed dial emergency numbers, for your actions may save yourself and others as well.”

 

ANTI-TERRORISM

On Saturday and Sunday of last week, PNP stations and offices staged dialogues with Muslim brothers, immediately following the Davao bombing.

AFP CENTCOM Commander MGen. Raul del Rosario said that their position on the terrorism situation is very simple for it is “the AFP’s mandate to pursue the terrorist situation in Mindanao.”

A joint task force of PNP and AFP is also already implementing monitoring operations in urban areas.

PSupt. Arnel Banzon, Deputy Chief for Regional Operations and Plans Division, cited their recommendations and security measures for the region.

“The Phil. Army, Phil. Navy and Phil. Air Force are committed to prevent the entry of terrorists in the country and to prevent these terrorists to conduct acts of terrorism, known in military parlance as target hardening,” said MGen. Del Rosario.

Gov. Chatto said that Pres. Duterte’s orders are very clear; and that is to join forces in suppressing terrorists, keep peace and order in place and to fight any form of terrorism.

 

“COLORUM” SEA PORTS

A concern was raised regarding the existence of privately-owned sea ports in the region which could be used as ingress and egress points for the illegal drugs trade.

According to the Coast Guard, private ports should be registered with the Phil. Ports Authority (PPA), the concerned port where the port is located, or with the LGU concerned; “otherwise, they might be deemed as colorum or illegal.”

Gov. Edgar Chatto informed the RPOC that in Bohol, he issued a memo through text blast to ensure the monitoring of suspicious or illegal activities especially in coastal areas for “we, the LGUs, have the mandate for general welfare.”

 

FORENSIC SCIENCE

It is interesting to note that Region 7 has a total of only 161 prosecutors as pitted against hundreds of thousands of cases they are expected to hear and resolve; notwithstanding the “slow” wheels of justice in the country where, more often than not, apprehended suspects tend to stay in prison longer than what their supposed jail terms only require, if only their cases have been heard and resolved within the required and proper period.

To solve this dilemma, the Supreme Court has earlier directed all courts to hear drug cases as well, in addition to their usual case loads.

To this, Regional Crime Lab-7 Chief Supt. Romer Daguno shared his experience using Forensic Science and counterintelligence in nailing terrorists, and called for the enhancement of our regional capability through its use by acquiring the necessary equipment and proper personnel training, and to solve other crimes, such as the illegal drugs menace, as well.

 

CHATTO RECOMMENDED AGAIN AS RPOC CHAIR

RPOC-7 Presiding Officer Gov. Edgar Chatto was pleased to note that Monday afternoon’s meeting was graced by several top PNP and AFP officials, the first ever for the Council.

PNP RD-7 CSupt. Noli Talino informed RPOC members that Gov. Edgar M. Chatto of Bohol is being recommended, again, to sit as RPOC-7 Chair.

The governor thanked everyone but graciously added that he would be more pleased if others would be given the chance to have the chairmanship for the current term, reaffirming Bohol’s full support for the Council.

Permanent link to this article: http://edcom.bohol.gov.ph/davao-aftermath-rpoc-7-to-public-dont-tag-share-disseminate-any-unverified-info-especially-thru-social-media/