A CENTRAL Visayas-wide anti-crime operations during the recent Holy Week led to the arrest of 946 persons and the seizure of over P6 million worth of shabu and 209 assorted firearms, Police Regional Office 7 director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas said yesterday.
In a report to Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde, Sinas said that the simultaneous conduct of enhanced police operations in the region dubbed PRO7 Project “HULI-Holy Week” saw the regional police force stepping-up its anti-criminality operations from Holy Monday up to Good Friday.
Sinas said that the project was meant to show the public that police are not sleeping on their job even during the Lenten period and won’t tolerate illegal drugs and illegal gambling such as illegal cockfighting, which is known to be being widely abused by the citizenry every Holy Week.
He said that out of the 673 anti-crime operations they conducted during the period, 168 involved anti-narcotics operations; 174 anti-illegal gambling operations; 170 service of warrants of arrest; 160 operations against illegal gambling and one against illegal fishing.
The operations netted 946 suspects, including 266 for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, 479 for illegal gambling, three for illegal fishing, 29 for violation of the Omnibus Election Code and RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013, and 170 for various criminal offenses.
Sinas said that 209 firearms with expired licenses and permits were also surrendered to the PRO7 by their respective holders for temporary safekeeping.
The Central Visayas police director said that 168 buy-bust operations were conducted by his men during the period: 66 in Cebu City, seven in Mandaue City, 10 in Lapu-Lapu City, 58 in Cebu province, 13 in Negros Oriental, 12 in Bohol, and two in Siquijor.
Those operations led to the arrest of 166 suspects and the confiscation of 906 grams of shabu worth nearly P6.2 million, and some P3,000 worth of dried marijuana leaves.
Sinas said that 18 of the 166 arrested were considered “street-level drug traffickers.”
He said that 479 others were arrested for violation of Presidential Decree 1602 or illegal gambling. Seized were 113 steel gaffs, 179 fighting cocks, 35 sets of playing cards, six boxes containing 22 live spiders as well as coins and marble rocks being used in “cara y cruz,” and nearly P35,000 in cash bets.
Sinas said that the 161 firearms surrendered include pistols, shotguns, automatic rifles and revolvers. Thirty other firearms were also seized from some of the arrested suspects.
One of those arrested in the anti-narcotics operations was a 17-year-old suspected drug dealer in Bgy. Calamba, Cebu City who yielded some 155 grams of shabu and a loaded cal. .38 revolver; 18-year-old Marfflyn Batoto who was found in possession of 100 grams of the “poor man’s cocaine” in a buy-bust operation in Bgy. Ermita, Cebu City.