Sen. ‘Bato’ leads PNP-DEG’s 2nd anniversary today

FORMER Philippine National Police chief-turned Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa will lead today’s 2nd founding anniversary of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) amid the unit’s commitment to help the government achieve a drug-free community by sending more drug dealers to jail and helping educate the people on the ill-effects of drugs.

Headed by Brigadier General Albert Ignatius D. Ferro, the PNP-DEG tasked to lead the police’s war on drugs has scored a mild success since it was officially activated two years ago.

From January 2018 to last April, the unit was able to conduct 66 buy-bust operations, served eight search warrants and three warrants of arrest for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and helped conduct 41 interdiction operations ationwide.

Its men were also involved in two marijuana eradication operations and one ‘in flagrante delicto’ operation during the period which led in the arrest of 126 suspected drug personalities including seven foreign nationals.

The period also saw the death of six armed drug traffickers following clashes with PNP-DEG officers.

Ferro said they were also able to file 108 cases for violation of RA 9165 during the period where they seized nearly  P755 million worth of prohibited drugs including 109 kilograms of shabu, 608 grams of high-grade marijuana, 4.19 grams of hashish, some 30ml of marijuana hashish oil and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Those operations also led in the recovery of six motor vehicles, 21 assorted high-powered firearms and 1,026 different live ammunition.

Ferro said that one of their major court victories during the period was the conviction of international drug trafficker Horacio Hernandez Herrera of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel for violation of RA 9165.

The conviction of Mexican Herrera came a day after an American jury in Brooklyn found Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, one of the world’s most wanted drug kingpins guilty of drug trafficking and sentenced him to life in prison.

Sen. dela Rosa will join Ferro and PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde in giving awards to a number of PNP-DEG officers and men who have contributed significantly to the success of the unit.

They include Lieutenant Colonel Glenn D. Mayam, Lt. Col. Chery Lou B. Donato, Captain Jonathan G. Mostoles, Lieutenant Fernando T. Galang,  Chief Senior Master Sergeant Aristocles U. Gutierrez, Chief Master Sergeant Edwin P. Taasin, Staff Sergeant Yusop U. Guiamadil, Master Sergeant Junvi P. Melchor and Non-Uniformed Personnel Blas I. Gado III.

Also to receive plaques of appreciation are the PNP-DEG Special Operations Unit 5, the Police Regional Office 7 Drug Enforcement Unit under Brig. Gen. Debold M. Sinas, the Bataan Provincial Police Office Drug Enforcement Unit; the Southern Police District DEU under Brig. Gen. Eliseo DC Cruz; and the Polomolok Municipal Police Station DEU in Region 12.

The special awardees include Brig. Gen. Sinas, PRO6 director, Brig. Gen.  Rene P. Pamuspusan, Brig. Gen. Herminio S. Tadeo, Brig. Gen. Joel B. Runes, Colonel Remus B. Medina, NUP Mariwin B. Mabida, Judge Jaime B. Santiago, Department of Justice State Prosecutor Josie Christina T. Dugay and Provincial Prosecutor Jonathan B. LLedo.

Under Ferro, the PNP-DEG has stepped-up its Project R.E.A.D.Y. which is aimed at educating more grade schoolers in the country on the ill-effects of illegal drugs and helping them to really understand that indeed, they are the future of the nation, the Journal Group learned yesterday.

The project being supervised by Lt. Col. Donato teaches Filipino grade schoolers-from Grades 1 to 12—the following: Obedience of the law, Combating pressure and saying “No” in using illegal drugs; Building moral values and self-esteem; and Learning the decision-making skills during risky situations.
Project R.E.A.D.Y is short for Resistance Education Against Drugs for the Youth.

“We are using this project as a tool to capacitate and increase the understanding of our youth about the consequences of using illegal drugs and learning different preventive strategies and techniques to say “No” to all forms of illegal substances that affect the vulnerable sector, our youth,” said Ferro, a member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Makatao’ Class of 1989.

The official said the program’s primary mission is to implement a standard preventive information and education program owned by the PNP and not just to educate and protect the youth from the harmful effects of dangerous drugs but also to instill leadership values and sense of social responsibility.