TAGBILARAN CITY – Illegal drugs industry in Bohol is developing into a lucrative business if figures presented by Gov. Edgar Chatto in his recent State of the Province Address (SOPA) are to be gauged. Many lives, particularly those who fail to make “batal” (unremittance) and law enforcers trying to eradicate the trade, were sacrificed just to attain profiteering derived from this social menace in millions of money, police records showed. SOPA’s presentation showed that 1,640.602 grams of “shabu” have been priced Php19,359,103.60 in 2014 based on Dangerous Drugs Board (CCB) valuation. This is far greater than 164.45 grams worth PhP1,940,510 seized in 2013, SOPA showed.
Sometime last year, however, PPOC was presented with illegal drugs trade worth PhP10,015,840.00 seized during the period August 2013-August 2014 as a result of the 242 operations launched by the police officers. A total of 342 operations in 2014 have been conducted by authorities or 256% compared to only 96 in 2013. Total persons/suspects arrested swelled to 389 in 2014 than 101 in 2013 and a total of 622 cases filed in court, higher than 119 in 2013, SOPA showed.
“Lives have been offered at the altar of peace and order in our no-nonsense campaign against drug abuse. We must win this war together. Let us be vanguards of our city, municipalities, barangays and even puroks. Let us be guardians in our homes. We must win this war together,” Chatto said in his SOPA.
The governor’s statement on on illegal drugs seemed contrary to the allegation lodged by former governor Atty. Victor dela Serna that the former’s administration has done little about the illegal drugs.
Dela Serna, in his latest tirades over radio programs, branded Chatto as “drug lord of all drugs lords.” Dela Serna said that this he felt it’s his obligation to tell the people of what he learned. He said two municipal mayors and three policemen confided to him the present capitol tenants’ alleged involvement in illegal drugs.
Chatto’s camp dared Dela Serna to name his sources but the latter kept mum, saying he cannot divulge the names of the officials since this is a matter of privilege communication. (rvo)