By Jennifer P. Rendon
More arrests. Bigger confiscation.
These marked the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6’s anti-illegal drugs campaign in 2023.
Based on PRO-6 records, more than 57.465 kilograms of shabu and 1.789 kilos of marijuana were seized in the previous year.
These seizures were valued at P390,977,787, way higher than last year’s confiscation pegged at only P259,125,359.
Brigadier General Sidney Villaflor, Western Visayas police chief, said that there were more confiscations because police units also mounted more operations.
They conducted 2,112 anti-illegal drug operations that resulted in the arrest of 2,873 drug individuals, a number also higher than the 1,999 druggies arrested the previous year.
As Villaflor earlier stated, this statistic is not at all alarming.
“Masisipag ang mga pulis natin. All illegal drug transactions are being done underground so law enforcers have to dig deep to find the targets,” he said.
He also highlighted that Western Visayas is only one of the transshipment areas nationwide since it has 37 seaports, piers and wharves, some of which are owned and operated by local government units.
But given the situation, police were still able to catch those who tried to proliferate illegal drugs.
“Policemen in Western Visayas are motivated, competent, zealous, passionate, professional in performing their mandates,” he said attributing the bigger confiscation to police intelligence-driven operations.
But Villaflor also acknowledged that police couldn’t do it alone.
“We need the support of other government agencies and the members of the community in our campaign against illegal drugs in the region,” he said.
The region’s top cop also exhorted the 18 government agencies, which are members of the Regional Law Enforcement Coordination Committee 6 (RLECC-6) to actively participate in the interdiction of illicit drugs in seaports & airports.