I. Norte’s year-end report: DRUG-FREE: 2 TOWNS CLEARED: 84% OF DABs

By Edison Justin Deus, PGIN-CMO

  • Oplan Tokhang nets 6,277 surrenderers;
    Double Barrel seizes P2.1M drugs
  • Volume of index crime dips by 33.50%

The Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) and the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (PADAC) have declared the towns of Marcos and Carasi as “drug-free” and 84.75% of 513 drug-affected barangays (DABs) in Ilocos Norte were endorsed as “drug-cleared” in their year-end report during a joint meeting held last December 22, 2017, at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall, provincial capitol, Laoag City.

Other agenda tackled during the meeting included assessment reports on peace and order, insurgency situation update, transition into federal government, and purpose of the PPOC.

PPOC Chairperson Gov. Imee R. Marcos congratulated the Philippine National Police-Ilocos Norte and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for the tremendous drop in crimes against persons and crimes against property, and for their remarkable Oplan Tokhang, which registered a high number of surrendered drug users and pushers in Ilocos Norte.

A record shows that a total of P2.1-M worth of drugs was confiscated in the province during the conduct of “Operation Double Barrel Reloaded” from July 2016 to September 2017, while 6,277 illegal drug users and pushers surrendered under Oplan Tokhang.

The most notable accomplishment of the PNP and PDEA operatives was the arrest of a high-value target through a buy-bust operation last September in the town of Pasuquin.

Of the over six thousand surrenderers, 5,830 were assessed for enrolment into the community-based rehabilitation program.

PDEA Ilocos Norte Agent Lanibelle Ancheta also reported that 80 barangays were already certified as “drug-cleared” by the Regional Oversight Committee (ROC) while 745 surrenderers were delisted.
Meanwhile, 92 other barangays were validated as “drug-cleared” and are up for endorsement to the ROC.

On crime rates, insurgency
As per record, the volume of index crime decreased by 33.50% from January to September 2017 noting a decrease in rape, homicide, and physical injury cases, while murder increased by only one case.

Robbery, theft, and cattle rustling incidents also dipped. A total of 195 persons were arrested in the anti-illegal gambling drive.

Meanwhile, under the anti-loose firearms campaign, 1,786 were registered for License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF), while 80 units firearms were seized.

Two of the most wanted and six wanted persons in the province were also arrested, mostly with murder cases.

Nineteen persons were apprehended for illegal logging. The Provincial Deputy for Operations’ report states that illegally-cut logs with an estimated value of over P880,000 were recovered. Succesfull drive versus Illegal fishing, cattle rustling, carnapping, and illegal quarry were likewise noted in the year-end report.

Earlier at the joint meeting, Governor Marcos stated that the peace talks between the New People’s Army (NPA) and the national government were unsuccessful. Hence, she said, that the military troops should expect encounters with the NPA rebels in the border territory. However, as of the third quarter of 2017, no enemy activity here was detected, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The AFP continues to conduct information drives and leadership summit as a way to educate the youth against insurgency indoctrination.

POPS plan 2018
Officials said the Peace and Order and Public Safety (POPS) objectives for 2018 are to eliminate the supply of illegal drugs, enhance drug awareness and education, prevent robbery and theft incidents, prevent shooting incidents in the province, prevent crimes against women and children, increase awareness on gender-related, improve traffic schemes, reduce disaster casualties, and strengthen crisis management, among others. (Edison Justin Deus, PGIN-CMO)