Celso to police: Solve ZC’s alarming drug problem PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 June 2016 12:04

By DEXTER YAP

District 1 re-elected Congressman Celso Lobregat urged the newly-installed Officer In-Charge of Police Regional Office 9 Chief Supt. Billy Beltran to double efforts in neutralizing drug pushers and drug traffickers, especially from big-time groups, operating in Zamboanga City and in Western Mindanao.

The drug problem was one of the issues Lobregat discusssed with new the PNP Regional Director during his courtesy call on the solon recently.

Beltran has replaced  Chief Supt. Miguel Antonio,Jr. who retired from the police service early this month.

Lobregat informed Beltran about the serious status of the drug problem in the city and basing on the statistics  on arrest of suspected drug users and pushers as revealed by the Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO), it has reached almost 7,000 only for the duration of six months this year which for him is alarming.

The veteran lawmaker said that arresting a drug user or pusher almost daily indicates the proliferation of drugs in almost all barangays of the city.

“The police should not only focus and be contented on the conduct of buy-bust operations, the city jail will be filled... the drug problem still persists ... big fish should be caught. We must strike in the head,” Lobregat said.

The congressman confided to Beltran his testimonies and priorities in the campaign against drugs during his nine-year term as a mayor, in which he had poured sufficient and necessary assistance to the local police to run after big time drug rings in the city. Most of them are now serving time in prison.

Lobregat also mentioned to Beltran the discovery of a suspected drug laboratory in Barangay Lamisahan operated by foreign nationals many years ago, in which their operations were busted and the suspects put to jail.

“The campaign against drugs should not be limited in small time apprehensions, more focus should be done on those drug traders who are from other island provinces and selling drugs in the city,” Lobregat said.

The concerns of Congressman Lobregat about the drug problem was taken seriously by Beltran, as he bared his plans and programs to intensify drug enforcement operations in Zamboanga as well as in the entire Region 9.

Beltran said that he is fully aware of the rampant drug trade in the city and in the entire region which he considers a big contributing factor to criminalities and social problems.

The official said he is not new to this kind of campaign, having led various successful anti-drug operations in Luzon and in his previous field assignments in the country.

It was Beltran’s direct order to all city and provincial police directors under his command to double their efforts in neutralizing drug pushers and put a stop to the illegal drug trade in their respective areas of responsibility. — Dexter Yap