THE chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs on Sunday warned the Philippine National Police (PNP) on the return of the drug trade under the general community quarantine (GCQ).
“The drug trade will return with vengeance after hibernating for almost three months. Our police should be more vigilant and monitor strictly the movement of people under the general community quarantine, where more people will be out doing serious business while others might be out looking for ways of getting the new high in the time of COVID (coronavirus disease-19),” Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, the panel chairman, stressed.
During the GCQ, more quarantine rules are relaxed and more people are allowed to leave their homes, presumably for work in vital industries and essential sectors, even as the figures on COVID-19 infection continue to rise sharply at an alarming rate.
Barbers said he believes that the drug personalities lost billions of pesos in drug trade opportunities when COVID-19 forced the government to declare a lockdown in Luzon in mid-March, followed by lockdowns in almost the entire country as the contagion spreads in the provinces. Thus, he warns that the drug syndicates will be flexing their muscles slowly to recoup their losses as the nation prepares to return to the new normal and people begin to resume their daily lives.
“These drug syndicates have long prepared for this new normal and have planned out well their next moves amid the fear and confusion.
While the people and our law enforcers are busy mapping strategies on how to avoid mass concentration and activities, we might overlook the drug trade resumption”, Barbers pointed out.
“I strongly agree with the Honorable Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, Edgar Mary Sarmiento that our seaports, airports and all bus terminals, cargoes and vehicles should be thoroughly inspected and strictly monitored if we are dead serious in stopping these criminals in their activities that put COVID-19 to shame”, Barbers added.
“I trust that the PDEA will likewise work double time as usual, to prevent these syndicates from plying their trade. I congratulate the new PDEA Director Wilkins Villanueva and I give him my full backing, being an old timer and an insider,” said Barbers.