ACCOUNT for more ‘high-value targets’ in the country’s illegal drug industry.
This was the order given by Philippine National Police chief, General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan to all PNP anti-narcotics units nationwide on Day 1 of his designation as the country’s 24th Chief, PNP.
He issued the directive to his men led by the PNP Drug Enforcement Group headed by Brigadier Gen. Romeo M. Caramat Jr. whose men since November last year have already accounted for nearly P13 billion worth of shabu and several ‘HVTs’ as well as the different Drug Enforcement Units of the Police Regional, Provincial, City and Municipal Police Stations.
The member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 also said that ‘small-time’ drug personalities should be arrested and sent to jail so they can spill the beans on their main source of shabu and other drugs as well as rogues in uniform who are in cahoots with them.
“Mas maganda ‘yung mga high-value individuals po ang mahuli. Gaya nga ho ng sinabi ko, these are our focus right now, internal cleansing and, at the same time, anti-drug campaign, we will see to it that we build-up cases against high-value individuals,” Gen. Cascolan said.
The new PNP chief’s directive is simple: conduct anti-drug operations with the end in view of catching the ‘big fishes’ or the main suppliers, distributors, smugglers or manufacturers of prohibited drugs specifically shabu which remains the no. 1 drug of abuse in The Philippines.
Last Saturday morning, PNP-DEG operatives made their 1st major catch under Gen. Cascolan following a buy-bust operation in Mabalacat City in Pampanga which resulted in the arrest of three ‘high-value individuals’ after they conspired to sell 2.5 kilograms of shabu worth P17 million to an undercover officer.
Caramat said that the three identified as Welson Sy Tan, Annabelle San Jose and Mary Joy Perfecto were arrested after they conspired to sell the huge volume of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ to an undercover officer at the parking area of Jollibee hamburger joint in Clark Center in Mabalacat City 10:30 a.m. last Saturday.
Recovered from the suspects’ possession were several heat-sealed plastic bags containing the prohibited drugs and the marked money paid to them by the poseur. The three are now undergoing questioning at their headquarters in Camp Crame and will be facing non-bailable charges for sale and possession of prohibited drugs under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Gen. Cascolan lauded the PNP-DEG’s latest accomplishment.
“May mga huli-huli po tayo na maliliit na tao pero as much as possible gagamitin po natin sila para mahuli ang malalaking isda. I want a much stronger case build-up against these big-time drug lords,” he explained.
Gen. Cascolan vowed to continue evaluating their war on drugs to ensure that police officers are doing the right thing when conducting operations against illegal drugs.
He also vowed to spare no one, police officers included if they are found to be engaged in illegal drugs and other criminal activities. “Ang anti-drug campaign natin ay walang pinipili kahit sinuman. Kahit sinuman ho ay aarestuhin namin basta bina-violate niya po ang anti-drug campaign,” he said. He added that he wants the capital punishment for ‘HVTs’ specifically drug lords or operators and maintainers of clandestine drug laboratories and shabu smugglers as well as convicted rapists.
“Ang case buildup po ay hindi lang ho dapat sa maliliit. Kailangan po natin ng kooperasyon ng mga tao para lamang ho makuha itong mga high-value individuals. This will be the focus of the anti-drug campaign. Of course, it will be reevaluated from time to time… we will try to enhance our anti-drug war so that we will be able to arrest more high value individuals,” he said.
As the new top cop, Gen. Cascolan said the citizenry must expect much-improved police visibility in their communities to help arrest the presence of illegal drug traffickers and other criminals.
The new PNP chief is no stranger to fighting illegal drug trafficking and abuse since he is known to be the ‘Architect’ of the PNP Oplan: Double Barrel which was used by the police force in addressing the drug problem since the start of the Duterte administration in July 2016.
Gen. Cascolan replaced his mistah, now retired Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa to become the 24th PNP chief. He also became the 4th member of PMA Class 1986 to become a PNP chief after retired General-now Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa, Oscar D. Albayalde and Gamboa.