Ligao City’s female police chief is ‘top performer’ in Bicol anti-drug campaign

Rhadyz B. Barcia

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Ligao City’s female police chief is ‘top performer’ in Bicol anti-drug campaign
Police Superintendent Lea Supelana, who leads Ligao City's fight against illegal drugs, says they are focusing on reaching out to the youth

LIGAO CITY, Philippines – This city in Albay province, under the watch of Police Superintendent Lea Supelana, is the top performer for Oplan TokHang in the Bicol Region.

Oplan TokHang, a campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP), involves literally knocking on the doors of suspected drug pushers and users and asking them to surrender. “TokHang” comes from the words “toktok” and “hangyo” – Visayan words for “knock” and “request.”

Supelana has been assigned to Ligao City since January this year as its police chief. From July 1 to August 27 alone, at least 1,523 have surrendered in Ligao City as part of Oplan TokHang.

Supelana said the youngest drug user in their city is 17 years old, while the oldest is 80 years old.

“Most of the drug users here are out-of-school youth… that’s why we are focusing on students not to be lured by illegal drugs,” she explained.

PNP Bicol regional spokesperson Senior Inspector Maria Luisa Calubaquib said Supelana is the top performer in the region for Oplan TokHang.

“She bested even her male counterparts in an anti-drug campaign, with [a] high number of surrenderees,” Calubaquib said.

According to PNP Bicol regional director Chief Superintendent Melvin Buenafe, roughly 36% of Bicol is affected by illegal drugs. This is equivalent to 1,251 barangays out of 3,498 in the region.

From July 1 to August 23, more than 42,000 people involved in illegal drugs surrendered to police stations across Bicol.

Among the region’s 6 provinces, Camarines Sur and Albay have the highest number of surrenderees. Camarines Sur has 15,383, while Albay has 10,593. The other provinces are Camarines Norte with 5,441; Masbate with 3,243; Sorsogon with 2,073; and Catanduanes with 1,397.

Anti-drug operations in Bicol also resulted in 34 deaths. (READ: ‘Nanlaban sila’: Duterte’s war on drugs)

At least 34 police chiefs in the region have also been relieved from their respective posts for failing to address the drug problem in their areas. (READ: PNP to barangay chiefs: Cooperate or we’ll tell DILG, Duterte)

FUN RUN. Residents of Ligao City, Albay hold a fun run on August 27, 2016 as part of their efforts to raise awareness of the anti-drug campaign. Photo by Rhaydz B. Barcia

Community effort

On Saturday, August 27, Supelana led a fun run to promote the PNP’s anti-drug campaign.

More than 3,000 residents of Ligao City joined the fun run, including police officers and barangay workers.

Myrna Adolfo, 64, a health worker from Barangay Calsada, said she welcomes President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug campaign as it helps curb criminality.

“We are strongly supporting the anti-drug campaign of the government through the initiative of PNP because it hampers crime,” said Adolfo.

“We’re fortunate enough because our chief of police, Superintendent Supelana, is working so hard to cleanse our place from illegal drug users and pushers,” she added. –



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