LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Aug. 21 (PNA)–In his toughest marching order yet, Gov. Amado Espino Jr. directed the Pangasinan police to “instill fear in the minds of all those involved in illegal drugs by treating them more than murderers”
Murderers have their own reasons for killing, may be for revenge but in the case of drug pushers, they have no other reason at all except to earn but in the process “destroy the family, destroy the community, destroy the society”
Saying this is the best antidote to stop illegal drugs, Espino believes the campaign against illegal drugs will take a new twist if the policemen send message to the drug pushers that they are deeply serious in their works whoever will be hurt.
In a meeting with members of the Pangasinan police led by OIC provincial director Rolly Saltat on Wednesday, Espino, a retired colonel of the Philippine National Police and once provincial director of Pangasinan and regional director of Region 1, revealed he does not rely on numbers or the statistics of apprehensions presented by each police station.
“They (police) have been relying on numbers or the statistics of people being apprehended but in this drug war, the numbers are not important. The more important one is the removal of all signs of illegal drug activities in the community,” he said.
He added that illegal drug is now the number one problem of the country today, more than carnapping, cattle rustling and kidnapping or robbery perpetrated by “akyat bahay” gangs.
“I told them (police) that our measure of achievements in the province is the number of convictions that had been made so far to find out where those apprehended were really going,” he also said
Citing his personal experience when he was a police officer, Espino said the police in the province must report that a case is already solved when the man they had apprehended is finally convicted.
He told OIC Police Provincial Director Saltat that in their next meeting they will make, the chiefs of police should have a report on how many had been convicted of those they had arrested because this matters very much in this anti-drug campaign.
While Espino urged the police to treat the drug pushers more than murderers, he however said that the users must be spared as they are mere victims of drug pushers who must be rehabilitated to give them a chance to rejoin the society as peaceful citizens.
Nevertheless, he called on the police to keep a list of drug users in barangays and sitios for them to find out where they are sourcing their illegal drugs.
He also called the police to stop their practice of using drug users of even drug pushers as assets in order to apprehend the bigger pushers if they do not want to be soon linked to such an illegal activity.
Noting that policemen are reporting as accomplishments measly amount of illegal drugs and already consider those being arrested as big-time pushers although were just wearing sandos and slippers, Espino called the police to devise some other ways to arrest the bigger targets with bigger volume of drugs in their possessions to really score big accomplishments. .
As to the report of some police chiefs that they lack money to be used by them in conducting buy-bust operations against drug pushers, Espino directed them to go to their municipal or city mayors as the Sangguniang Panlalawigan already required them to set aside 5.5 percent of their annual budgets to be used in anti-illegal drugs operations.
“If your mayors can not provide you money, go to your provincial director or directly to me personally and I will provide you what you need in your operations,” he said.
Pangasinan is the only province all over the country which required its LGUs to set aside part of their budgets for anti-illegal drugs operations. The province has allocated more than P12 million in this campaign.
“We are putting our money where our mouth is and I still don’t know if you don’t call that as political will,” he added.
At the same time, Espino called on all police chiefs to adopt the strategy taken by Chief Inspector Ryan Manongdo chief of police of Pozorrubio to also make an effort to inform their town mates that they (police) are deeply serious in weeding out illegal drugs.
We are deeply serious in eradicating the problem of illegal drugs in our province. We are doing this because we have our families to protect who might be the next victims of drug pushers, he said.
He also lauded Superintendent Christopher Abrahano, chief of police of Dagupan, who reported that in his area, policemen are doing everything that they can in order to abate illegal drugs, which is the reason why the Daguoan police scored the highest accomplishments in the fight against illegal drugs in Pangasinan and Region 1. (PNA)