By: Jennifer P. Rendon
THE Iloilo City Police Office-Women and Children Protection Desk (ICPO-WCPD) said it is alarmed by youngsters arrested for illegal drugs cases.
Police Captain Shella Mae Sangrines, ICPO-WCPD chief, aired her concern on the possibility that drug pushers are taking advantage of the innocence of teenagers and even minors.
These youngsters, Sangrines noted, are not necessarily gang members.
“That’s why, we want to further strengthen our implementation of Project Bong,” she said.
Following several misdemeanors involving minors in 2017, ICPO launched Project B.O.N.G. or “Bringing Order to the Nemesis of Gangs.”
It was created to address youth gang problems in the metropolis by creating programs to achieve holistic growth for the youth who are strong-rooted, comfortable, and secured.
Project BONG was aimed to shape, inspire and mobilize (SIM) youth gang members who are God-centered and are able to manage themselves emotionally and physically.
“This would also target out-of-school youth and tambays,” she said.
On Thursday, two teenagers were arrested following a buy bust operation at Barangay Santo Niño Norte, Arevalo district.
Police identified the suspects as Andy Garcia, 18, of Barangay Tabuc Subar, Jaro, and 17-year old Nonoy from Barangay Quintin Salas, Jaro.
Garcia allegedly sold a sachet of suspected shabu for P600. An additional five sachets were seized from his possession.
Nonoy was allegedly with Garcia when the trade happened.
The suspect denied that he was into the illegal drug trade and claimed that he and his wife were peanut vendors in the area.
But members of Arevalo Police Station claimed that Garcia used his peanut business as a front to sell shabu.
Last week, three youngsters from Bacolod City were also arrested following a police anti-narcotics operation in Mandurriao district.
Police identified the suspects as Christian Gayoso, 20; Joemel Flores, 19; and alias Bong, 17. All are residents of Barangay, Banago Bacolod City.
The three were arrested 1:30 a.m. of July 3, 2019 shortly after they arrived from Bacolod City.
Gayoso was the subject of the operation while Flores and Nonoy worked for him on a commission basis.
Members of Mandurriao Police Station and the ICPO – City Drug Enforcement Unit (ICPO-CDEU) seized from the suspects six plastic sachets of suspected shabu and P15,500 buy bust money.
Even in other parts of the region, there were also cases of teenagers nabbed due to illegal drugs.
On July 3, the Bacolod City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) seized more or less 71 grams of suspected shabu worth P852,000 from a 19-year-old pregnant woman in a drug buy-bust at Barangay 2.
On June 18, two teenagers were also arrested in a drug sting at Passi City, Iloilo.
Rick David Marquez, 19, of Poblacion Ilaya, Passi City, was arrested along with his 17-year old apprentice, who served as his runner.
The two yielded six sachets of shabu, which they allegedly sourced from Bacolod City.