Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Monday, July 11, 2016

Escalating war on drugs drives 500 ‘users, pushers’ to surrender in Masbate

MASBATE CITY, July 11 (PIA)—Close to 510 confessed drug users and pushers in Masbate province have surrendered themselves to police since the launch of the antinarcotics drive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, according to authorities.

Superintendent Eymard Gomez, head of police operations for Masbate, said 61 pushers and 441 drug dependents signed a pledge to stop trading and using illicit drugs, since June 30, when Duterte took over the presidency.

More than half of them were from the vastly populated Aroroy and San Pascual towns and Masbate City, the burgeoning capital of Masbate, an island-province 362 nautical miles from Manila.

Their mass surrender began after Duterte encouraged supporters to kill suspected drug peddlers and addicts if they resist arrest and fight back.

Those who were reached by reporters for comment admitted being scared of losing their lives under Duterte’s escalating war on drug trafficking.

According to local authorities, the surrender of residents who admitted they have been hooked to shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride, the drug of choice among local users) or have been engaged in trading was triggered by a mass hysteria caused by Duterte administration’s ultimatum.

“The (hysteria has sent a) rippling effect (to drug suspects),” said Senior Supt. Alexander J. Sampaga, police provincial director for Masbate.

Due to absence of arrest warrants, all of the 502 drug repentants were released after police profiled them, Sampaga said.

He said they will be monitored by police and village officials to make sure that they refrain from backsliding into their old habits.

Sampaga expressed optimism that more users and pushers would surrender in the next few weeks.

With pushers and users changing their ways, Sampaga also expressed belief that the volume of drug-associated crimes will likewise drop in Masbate.

Sampaga appealed to local government units to provide appropriate services and interventions to the plethora of drug pushers and users who have submitted themselves to treatment and rehabilitation. (EAD/PIA5 Masbate)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/821468227072/escalating-war-on-drugs-drives-500-users-pushers-to-surrender-in-masbate#sthash.Xo3GOB26.dpuf

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