• Drug pushers, users surrender to police

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    MORE than 200 drug personalities have surrendered to the authorities over the weekend in the Caraga region in the face of an intensified campaign against illegal drugs by the Philippine National Police (PNP), Caraga police spokesman Supt. Michael Lozada said on Monday.

    Lozada reported that an estimated 272 suspected drug pushers and users turned up in different police stations in the region.

    A massive campaign to convince those involved in illegal drugs to reform and a program dubbed “Oplan Tokhang” or “Oplan Toktok Hangyo” launched by the Rosario Municipal Police Station resulted in 200 drug personalities surrendering.

    Lozada added that around 72 drug personalities from different barangays in Placer town in Surigao del Norte also surrendered to the police.

    “They promised to do away with drugs and signed an undertaking stating therein that they will not in any way be involved in drugs,” he said.

    He added that the suspected drug users and pushers’ act of submission was a result of the relentless law enforcement efforts of the Caraga Police Regional Office to wipe out illegal drug activities in the region and bring to justice those involved in the illegal drug trade.

    Caraga Police Chief Supt. Rolando Felix had earlier urged all those involved in illegal drugs to reform or face the law.

    Meanwhile, PNP Chief Director General Ricardo Marquez on Monday said that they are open to any form of investigation following questions arising from the increase in the number of drug suspects that were killed during police operations.

    According to figures of the Directorate for Investigative and Detective Management, around 34 drug suspects have been killed in intensified police operations against illegal drugs after the May 9 elections.

    Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte won the presidency anchored on a campaign promise that his administration will be tough against crime, especially those involving illegal drugs.

    “We are ready to face any investigation in the event someone would file a complaint against the police because of the rise in the number of drug suspects killed in police operations,” Marquez said.

    He added that he will also determine if either the firing of guns or the use of excessive force by police personnel in their drive against illegal drugs are justified.

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