A former member of the defunct Philippine Constabulary tagged by the police as an alleged drug lord in southern Negros surrendered yesterday to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Metro Manila.
Senior Supt. William Señoron, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, yesterday said Jessie Ramos gave himself up to PDEA director general Isidro Lapena, in the presence of Chief Supt. Conrado Capa, Negros Island Region police director.
While Ramos has no pending criminal records, he was tagged as an alleged supplier of illegal drugs in the 5th and 6th districts of Negros Occidental, as well as in Bacolod, with some friends in the police service, PDEA, and even politicians, Chief Inspector Gary Alan Resuma, Hinigaran police chief, said.
Resuma also said two of the children of Ramos had surrendered to them in previous weeks, with among the 502 who pledged to stop their illegal activities.
Last week, Edgar Mellama, alias Tolikoy, also surrendered to Capa. But he denied that he is a drug lord in northern Negros, contrary to claims.
The surrender of Mellama also came in the wake of the arrest of Rene Lim in Cauayan, who was also tagged by the police as a drug personality in the 6th district of Negros Occidental.
The surrender of Ramos brought to five the number of top drug personalities accounted for by the police in Negros Occidental.
The number of drug surrenderees in Negros island is now almost 18,000, three weeks after Oplan Tokhang campaign of the PRO 18 was implemented in Negros Island Region on July1.
Supt. Moises Villaceran, PRO 18 Police Community Relations chief, yesterday said the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office remains with the most number of drug surrenderees with 9,046, followed by the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office with 7,349 and 1,560 for Bacolod City Police Office.
In the same period, Villaceran said 155 pushers and 15 pushers were also arrested in separate police operations, under the PRO 18 Oplan Double Barrel campaign, which aims to neutralize the illegal drug trade activities of those who defy their campaign.
Three others were killed after they allegedly fought back against police officers during anti-drug operations, he added.
Of the six top drug personalities in Negros Occidental, four have already been neutralized with their arrests.
A total of 302 sachets of suspected shabu were also recovered from July 1 to 23, Villaceran said.
On Friday, 152 drug pushers and users surrendered in Manapla, with Mayor Lourdes Escalante among those who welcomed their decision to quit their involvement in the illegal drug trade.
Villaceran said he expects more to surrender, as local government chief executives are now mapping out plans for rehabilitation of drug users.
Chief Supt. Camilo Cascolan, PNP director for Operations, said the ongoing two-pronged national anti-drug campaign under Project Double Barrel is expected to further boost the overall anti-crime effort.
By the end of the month, Señoron said, they will know the percentage of crime volume reduction in Negros Occidental, compared to crime rate figures last month.
Eighty-five percent of committed crimes were attributed by the police to the proliferation of prohibited drugs.*GPB
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