63 Cordillera barangays still drug affected

BAGUIO CITY August 09 – The Cordillera office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-CAR) reported that some 63 barangays in the different parts of the region remain to be drug affected amidst the unrelenting and uncompromising anti-illegal drug campaign being undertaken by law enforcers and anti-narcotics agents.
Based on the PDEA-CAR report during the joint meeting of the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) at the Mansion House last Thursday, Abra had the most drug affected barangays with 29 followed by Baguio City with 15, Kalinga – 8 barangays, Apayao and Benguet – 5 barangays each and Ifugao – 1 barangay while Mountain Province did not have any.
On the other hand, PDEA-CAR reported that the Regional Oversight Committee was able to clear a total of 753 barangays from the 816 previously drug affected barangays.
Of the region’s 1,176 barangays, 360 barangays are drug unaffected, 816 are considered to be drug affected, 753 barangays have been declared cleared by the Regional Oversight Committee and 63 barangays remain to be drug affected to date.
The PDEA-CAR also claimed that there are 154 drug personalities wherein 85 individuals are included in the target list while 69 personalities are in the watchlist.
According to the PDEA, there are still 5 drug groups composed of 18 members that are operating in the different parts of the region.
The PDEA-CAR disclosed that shabu remains to be the drug of choice while the cultivation of marijuana remains rampant in the hinterlands of Tinglayan, Kalinga, Kibungan and Bakun in Benguet.
Further, the PDEA-CAR was able to document a marijuana eradication activity in Bauko, Mountain Province, however, the cultivator, according to the residents, came from Benguet who migrated to the highland municipality.
On the other hand, hashish, which is a derivative of marijuana, is allegedly being manufactured in Bulacan, Tinglayan, Kalinga and the same is sold to local and foreign tourists who are reportedly frequenting the said areas.
Likewise, the report added the marijuana is reaped, dried, compacted into bricks and stalks and discretely transported outside the region.
However, the PDEA-CAR claimed that there was no monitored manufacture of synthetic drugs in the region. ** Dexter See

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