The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Negros Island Region will concentrate its efforts on high value target drug personalities, Julius Navales, its new regional director, yesterday said.
While he acknowledged that some of them may have surrendered under the PNP Oplan Tokhang campaign, Navales, whose designation as PDEA regional director for NIR took effect July 11, said “They will still be under our watchful eyes”.
Navales, who previously served as PDEA regional director for CARAGA Region in Mindanao, yesterday called for help from the provincial government of Negros Occidental and other local government units, as they have to start from “zero”, citing the lack of resources and mobility, among others.
But Navales said the ongoing anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte that has driven several thousands of drug personalities to come out and surrender, has made their job a lot easier.
This also resulted in the reduction of demand for prohibited drugs, with prices of shabu per gram reduced from P1,000 to P500, he added.
Navales also lauded and expressed his support to the outpatient drug rehabilitation program, as proposed by Negros Oriental Rep. Arnie Teves, which, he said, is a good start in the rehabilitation of surrendered drug pushers and users.
A native of La Carlota City, Navales was among the 17 former members of Magdalo who had joined the PDEA in 2008.
They were part of the 53 discharged junior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who were detained for more than four years and later honorably discharged after a plea bargain agreement for their involvement in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.*GPB
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