STEPPED-UP anti-drug and anti-criminality campaign by the Cordillera Police Regional Office have resulted in a much peaceful environment in the region which is composed of the provinces of Benguet, Kalinga, Abra, Apayao, Ifugao and Mountain Province, the Journal Group learned yesterday.
During the recent Joint National Peace and Order Council and 4th Regional Peace and Order Council Cluster Meeting in Davao City, Cordillera police director, Chief Superintendent Rolando Z. Nana said they have made significant accomplishments thru the collective efforts of the Cordillera RPOC.
He said the crime situation in the region declined during the 3rd quarter of the year as a result of their intensified implementation of crime prevention programs and law enforcement operations.
Nana, a member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Sandiwa’ Class of 1985 said from July 1 to September 30 this year, they posted a 13 percent decrease in the total crime volume in the region -- 1,943 crime incidents compared to 1,695 cases in 2017.
Index and non-index crimes likewise decreased by 17 percent and 10 percent respectively during the two periods in review.
Nana attributed it to their intensified crackdown against illegal drug trafficking and abuse. During the period, they conducted 183 anti-drug operations regionwide which led in the arrest of 65 notorious drug personalities and the killing of two armed suspects in gunbattles with officers.
Those operations likewise led in the seizure of nearly 211 grams of shabu, nearly 96 tons of dried marijuana bricks, dried leaves, fruiting tops, stalks and seeds as well as the uprooting and destruction of nearly 390,000 pieces of fully-grown marijuana plants. The seized and destroyed dangerous drugs were valued at P94.2 million.
Nana said during the period, they continued raiding clandestine marijuana plantations in Tinglayan, Kalinga to prevent syndicates from harvesting the banned crops and distributing them to other parts of the country including Metro Manila.
Thru their Oplan: Tokhang activities, he said a total of 6,288 drug dependents enrolled in community-based rehabilitation and facility-based treatment programs. Nana said a total of 1,176 barangays in the region have fully organized their respective Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils of BADACs in compliance with a directive from the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Nana said out of 11,76 barangays in the region, 359 are considered drug-unaffected while 817 others were described as affected since the start of the Duterte presidency in July 2016.
Of the 817, a total of 764 were already considered as ‘drug-cleared’ while 53 are still ‘drug-affected.’
Apart from going all-out against illegal drug activities, Nana said they are also pressing their campaign to arrest the presence of New People’s Army insurgents in the region.
During the period, 61 known NPA personalities were neutralized.
Nana said they are intensifying their Community Anti-Terrorism Awareness programs thru a series of seminars to help educate Cordillerans on the threats posed by the communist movement in the region.
The same period also saw the Cordillera RPOC requesting the Army’s 503rd Brigade to recruit additional militiamen for Benguet province and to consider the application of drug surrenderers who completed LGU-supervised drug rehabilitation programs to join the militia force.
The RPOC also passed another resolution supporting the Benguet Provincial Peace and Order Council’s move to condemn persons who are claiming to be members of the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army in conducting illegal activities in the province.
From January to June this year, the Cordillera police also reported a better peace and order situation in the region with the crime volume down by nearly 19 percent compared to the same period in 2017.
The period also saw the RPOC passing a resolution recognizing the Baguio City Police Office for turning the Pines City as among the safest cities in Southeast Asia and the Mountain Province Police Provincial Office for maintaining ‘zero-drug affected barangays in the province.