Over 6,000 killed in government’s war on drugs; over 12,000 barangays drug cleared

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 18, 2019   •   1291

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has reported over 6,000 deaths in the government’s war on drugs.

Based on the initial data released by the PNP, 6,600 individuals had been killed from July 1, 2016 to to May 31, 2019.

According to PNP Spokesperson PCol. Bernard Banac, around 1.5 million drug personalities surrendered while over 200,000 were arrested.

The PNP has conducted 150,000 drug operations since the start of the government’s campaign in 2016. Banac said that the PNP will continue to strengthen the campaign against illegal drugs.

“Of course ang pakikipagtulungan ng mga government units kailangang palakasin ang mga barangay o anti-drug abuse council, municipal at provincial anti-drug abuse council ay pakikipag-uganyan sa local na pamahalaan, (Of course the assistance of government units should also be strengthened. The barangay or the anti-drug abuse council, municipal, and provincial anti-drug abuse council should coordinate with the local government)” he said.

Meanwhile, authorities also reported that over 12,000 barangays are drug-free. Region 1 leads the highest number of drug-cleared barangays followed by Region 8, and Region 6.

Regions NCR, Region 3, Region 5, and Region 7 are the most affected by the illegal drug trade.

Banac reiterated the importance of family in curbing illegal drugs.

“Lahat ng pamilya ay dapat sumali dito dahil ang unang depensa natin dito laban sa ilegal na droga ay ang pamilya. Doon po magsisimula ang laban at kapag hindi ito kinaya ay doon na po papasok ang komunidad, (All families should join because they are the first defense against illegal drugs. The first fight begins there because the problem will enter into the community if they cannot solve it within the family)” he said.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

GCTA surrenderer calls on Duterte for ‘mercy’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 12, 2019

“Inamin ko iyong kaso ko na hindi ko naman ginawa, (I admitted to a crime I did not commit,” Lando said.

Lando, not his real name, said he had good behavior during his time in prison. He was released under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law last January 2017.

He also said he did not pay for anything to avail the benefits of the GCTA law.

But after President Rodrigo Duterte’s order, he had no choice but to surrender. However, he calls on the president to give inmates like him a chance.

“Dapat alam din ni presidente ang damdamin ng mahirap. Sana maawa siya doon sa mga taong gusto talagang magbagong buhay, (The president should also consider poor people’s feelings. I hope he shows mercy to those individuals who really want to change their lives),” he said.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) assured that they will release inmates who really deserve to be released.

According to BuCor PIO Chief Sr. Insp. Eusebio Del Rosario Jr., they will provide clearance to those who are really eligible to be released “in accordance with the policy or the law.”

“Kung hindi sila mag-qualify dito o upon the re-computation kung mayroon pa silang natitirang sentensya na kailangang i-serve, itutuloy nila iyon, (If they did not qualify here or upon the re-computation, or they still have remaining sentence they need to serve, they have to continue it)” he said.—AAC (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

Gov’t to form a national task force on swine disease

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 10, 2019

The government will form a national task force to prevent the spread of swine diseases like the African Swine Fever (ASF), according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

According to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, the disease might have spread when backyard-raised hogs have been fed with swill infected by the disease.

However Dar assured the ASF in the country has not yet reached the epidemic point. They will also add more personnel at checkpoints in different areas in the country to monitor the transport of pork products.

Dar said most of the pork stocks are backyard-raised or came from small-time hog raisers.

Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) the population of hogs in the country is at 12.7 million heads as of July 2019 and around 8.02 million of them are backyard hogs.

“It’s not a restrictive policy if we have to ask another veterinarian coming from government to come and inspect your breeder stocks bago ita-transport ito, (before it can be transported),” according to Dar.

The Agriculture Department also advised hog raisers to avoid feeding swill to their pigs, limit the number of people entering their cages, and immediately report any sudden deaths.

According to the Bureau of Animal Industry there are still no vaccine for ASF so the issue should immediately be addressed.—AAC (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Duterte on GCTA issue: ‘I suspect that corruption was present there’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 4, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte suspected that there might be corruption in the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) regarding the issue on the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.

“I suspect that corruption was present there [at the BuCor]. Ibig sabihin, baka iyong iba, baka binili (meaning, some might have offered bribe). That’s why it’s important that we rearrest and re-investigate,” he said during a press briefing on Wednesday (Sept 4).

Duterte called on the released heinous crime convicts to surrender for a recomputation of their GCTA.

“I will give you 15 days liberty provided you make yourself available anytime that you will be called for an investigation to have a recomputation, or if there is an investigation of corruption then you cooperate fully,” he added.

During the Senate hearing on Wednesday, Senate President Senator Vicente Sotto III said there is an intelligence report on a so-called “GCTA for sale” in BuCor.

“Marami raw pera ang umikot, milyones daw (There is a lot of money involved, millions) we have intelligence report. I already shared [it] with Sen. Lacson,” said Sotto.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

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