Manila police tailing 82 drug pushers
MANILA, Philippines – The Manila Police District (MPD) is prioritizing the arrest of 82 drug suspects as part of Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s local campaign against illegal drugs.
MDP director Senior Superintendent Joel Coronel said on Saturday, July 9, that Estrada directed them to go hard against alleged drug users and pushers in Manila.
“Whatever you need – firearms, equipment, vehicles – whatever, I will provide you. I will give all the tools you need. Just go all out and rid the city of illegal drugs,” Estrada told Coronel during a meeting at the city hall on Friday.
According to Coronel’s report to Estrada, 3 of the 82 names in the MPD’s priority list include “Level 3” traffickers or those who are suspected of carrying at least two kilos of methampethamine or shabu and other types of drugs.
These will then be distributed to “Level 1 and 2” retailers or street pushers.
“Levels 4 and 5, these are the importers, manufacturers, and smugglers, the main sources of drugs in the country,” he added.
Coronel said the MPD expects to “neutralize” any 3 of the suspected “Level 3” Chinese-Filipino pushers in their watch list in the next weeks. (READ: Drug suspect killings rise after Duterte victory)
The MPD chief, however, said they have not received any reports about drug dens operating in Manila. He said the city is “too small and crowded” for drug manufacturing facilities to operate without being noticed.
“Drug traffickers and manufacturers are evolving. They’re now transferring their main operations in the suburbs, in remote locations, in private subdivisions kasi mas madaling magtago doon. Sa Manila, wala (because it's easier to hide there. There's none in Manila),” said Coronel.
Estrada’s anti-illegal drugs campaign began in 2013, during his first term as Manila mayor.
He has since implemented the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program in public elementary and high schools in Manila, which aims to educate the youth about illegal drugs. (READ: Rising number of users seeking drug rehab is a 'happy problem' but…)
Estrada allocated P1.9 billion for peace and order in the city, which includes P136 million worth of allowances for members of the MPD. – Rappler.com