P200-million illegal drugs confiscated, destroyed in Bukidnon in 2011 – PDEA

MALAYBALAY CITY  (Bukidnon News/26 January) The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency reported about P199.734 million worth of illegal drugs were confiscated and eradicated in Bukidnon in 2011, according to its accomplishment report as of January 19.

About P183.346 million of the figure is attributed to marijuana eradication referring to the output of three operations.

About 16.387 million is estimated for the 15 operations yielding shabu, according to a report made by the PDEA Bukidnon Team.

PDEA also reported the conduct of 21 anti-drug awareness seminars and symposia to cut the demand for illegal drugs in the province.

The report was released amid the confirmation of Malaybalay City Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri this week that eight of his staff members have resigned after they were found to have used shabu during office hours in a pot session while in their office uniforms. PDEA Bukidnon admitted they were in possession of six video footages that captured the employees using shabu.

Sources said Gov. Alex Calingasan has looked at two provincial government employees reported to be in the videos.

PDEA Bukidnon reported the increasing prevalence of government officials and employees using illegal drugs, based on their past and on-going surveillance.

In 2010, PDEA Bukidnon reported that the drug menace has bothered 114 of Bukidnon’s 464 barangays with about 99 villages and two towns  “moderately affected,” and two other towns as “seriously affected.”

 

“This means one in every four barangays in the province are in the PDEA watch list,” the, PDEA Bukidnon team leader told members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, as reported by Bukidnon News earlier.

 

He said Bukidnon has 12 “slightly affected barangays” or those areas where there are not only users but also the presence of a drug trader; 99 are “moderately affected” or where there are both users and several pushers; and about three are classified  “seriously affected, or those ”where there is a drug den or clandestine places where prohibited drugs are sold and consumed.”

 

The data shows there are more barangays that have both users and pushers.

Bukidnon’s 114 barangays in the list comprise about 28 percent of the total number of barangays in the PDEA drug list of 412. Bukidnon has the highest number of “moderately affected barangays” in 2010.

The source did not identify all barangays but cited that in Malaybalay among the affected barangays considered as “moderately affected” for marijuana and shabu are barangays Casisang, Midlamin, and Brgy. 1. He also named Brgy. 9 in Malaybalay City as a “seriously affected barangay”.

 

In Valencia City, he named barangays Bagonta-as, Batangan, Guinuyoran, Laligan, Lumbo, and Lurugan as moderately affected barangays. He named barangays Sinayawan, Sugod, and Vintar as moderately affected for marijuana. He also named Valencia’s Poblacion barangay as a “seriously affected barangay.”

 

The source said that even as marijuana and shabu are a menace in Bukidnon’s two cities, it is more rampant in Valencia City than in Malaybalay City.

 

But he said topping the watch list are the towns of San Fernando and Cabanglasan, which host the biggest plantations of marijuana in Northern Mindanao.

 

Also in the list of “seriously affected towns” are the municipalities of Baungon and Talakag and the towns of Manolo Fortich and Quezon as “moderately affected towns.”

 

He clarified then that users in Cagayan de Oro come to Baungon town to buy shabu. He told board member and former Baungon mayor Rogelio Lago that pushers are based in the town. He said the trend is that because it is getting more difficult to trade and use drugs in the bigger cities, users and traders do this in rural areas like Baungon where they think enforcement is weak.
He cited region-wide figures on number of arrests and cases filed in court but cited no provincial figures.  (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)

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