PNP, PDEA link with communicators to address drugs, crimes in Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 May 2015 15:19

By DOMINIC I. SANCHEZ

 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) joined hands with the media, government information agencies and civil society groups to help curb the spread of illegal drugs in the city as well as to reduce criminalities through advocacy and communication.

On April 23, the PNP, PDEA, City Hall Public Information Office, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), media practitioners and local civil society organizations met to re-visit the Integrated Communications Plan for Public Safety (ICP4PS) which was initially crafted last February through the facilitation of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Engage Project. This follow-through meeting aimed to concretize the action plan for operationalization by the different stakeholders.

According to Sr. Supt. Angelito Casimiro, city police director, majority of the crimes and security concerns in the city are drug-related. “Shooting incidents sometimes occur every other day or sometimes even every day,” Casimiro shared. “Many of these incidents are drug-related,” adding that in addressing peace and order, the PNP is looking into its root cause, which is the proliferation of illegal drugs.

On the other hand, PDEA-9 director Joseph Ladip said that the proliferation of illegal drugs, particularly in the Recodo area is a thriving business, even when drug operators have already been arrested.

“The families of the arrested drug operators would carry on the business, which accounts for the continuous spread of illegal drugs,” said Ladip.

The illegal drug business is being managed by powerful syndicates, said Ladip. The smaller drug operators have support from these syndicates “and they have vast amount of resources, can get lawyers and come up with huge amounts to bail themselves out of prison”.

Casimiro himself said that they had to pool P60,000 just to get some of his men to Manila to attend a hearing in which a case was filed against them by lawyers of some arrested drug operators. “These are just some of the difficulties that we face, but we have to be relentless,” he pointed out.

“The PNP cannot fight the war on drugs alone, and we need the help of the communities,” Casimiro said, citing the need for more citizen-force multipliers as their eyes and ears in the barangays.

Meanwhile, the group agreed to meet regularly to provide each other with updates regarding the communications plan. “This group has to be sustained to ensure that we will have good outcomes in terms of promoting peace and order in the city,” said Jules Benitez of USAID-Engage.