Wants drug prevention part of basic education in schools
BY SILVER C. BALANZA
Drug use and pushing have become monsters that police can’t slay.
This despite the relentless drive of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and the police against illegal drugs.
Duterte admitted that the police may only minimize spread of illegal drugs but cannot totally eradicate it.
“The only thing that we could assure the public is that we will try our very best to meet the challenge of not how to stop it but how to minimize it,” Duterte frankly told media as he emerged from a meeting this week of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC). The mayor, known for his iron-fist campaign against illegal drugs, chairs the RPOC.
Duterte however said there is no drug factory in the city, which gets its supply from neighboring areas.
Duterte said Davao City has become a magnet luring drug dealers because of its booming economy and huge population which is a large market for drugs like shabu.
Police also have difficulty monitoring many entry points of drugs, pointing particularly to the city’s long coastline.
Records at the Davao City Police Office and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) show that most drugs entering the city come from Central Mindanao or Marawi City.
With police unable to totally stop illegal drugs, Duterte said there is need to embed drug awareness, prevention and control as part of basic education,
Most users of shabu in the city are young people including students.
Duterte said many people are lured to drug pushing because of the easy money.
Shabu is everywhere because it is money. They come in to the city by land or air. We also have along coast that is hard to monitor, he said.
The Davao City Police Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit will undergo a 45-day training to improve its anti-crime and anti-terrorist capability, said police chief Senior Supt. Vicente Danao.
Funded by City Hall, the training will also involve the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Task Force Davao (TFD).
Part of the training is on how to handle incidents of terrorism involving ships and airplanes, said Danao to explain why TFD and the PCG will join the training.
Danao said the training will enhance the response capabilities of the city’s police units to protect the locality from crime and terrorist activities.
The mid-year crime rate in Davao City has gone down by 30 percent compared to the same period last year, according to Davao City Police Office (DCPO) director Sr. Supt. Vicente Danao.
Danao said about 4,000 crimes were recorded in the first semester of the year or about 30 percent lower than last year’s 6,200 recorded in the same period of 2013.
Danao said there were no big crimes like kidnapping and carnapping, noting that most of the crimes involved theft or robbery.
Danao credited the low crime rate to more police visibility and assistance in the crime-fighting efforts of Task Force Davao and barangay police.