IN CAGAYAN VALLEY, ZAMBALES

Drug suspects yield en masse

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The spate of drug-related killings in the past weeks triggered the mass surrender of about 9,000 suspected dealers and users in Zambales province and the Cagayan Valley region.

In Zambales, 1,300 confessed illegal drug users and pushers arrived in droves at the Asinan Poblacion Covered Court on Friday and took their oath of undertaking before Subic Mayor Jay Khonghun.

Four hundred drug suspects have earlier surrendered in Olongapo City and other towns in Zambales – Castillejos, 500; Santa Cruz, 34; and San Antonio, 122.

Zambales Provincial Police Office director Senior Supt. Christopher Mateo told The Manila Times he was surprised by the huge turn out of illegal drug users and pushers.


He said Philippine National Police director general Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa told him he was personally monitoring the town following the discovery of the floating shabu laboratory off Subic on Monday.

The shabu laboratory, uncovered in a foreign vessel with four Chinese believed to be chemists, is believed involved in bringing in illegal drugs into the country.

The anti-narcotics operations in the province resulted in the death of at least three suspected drug pushers in Barangay Calapacuan, a Muslim community known as the source of illegal drugs, when they reportedly engaged operatives in a shootout.

In the villages of Barretto and East Bajac-Bajac in Olongapo City, two unidentified men were found dead in police operations last week, while another body wrapped in a plastic garbage bag was discovered in Barangay Santa Rita.

Meanwhile, in Cagayan Valley (Region 2) nearly 8,000 drug dealers and users have surrendered from July 1 to 14.

Regional Public Information officer, Supt. Chevalier Iringan, said of the total number, 7,101 are drug users while 652 admitted to be drug pushers.

Isabela province has the biggest number at 3,032 while Batanes has only 17.

Only two drug related deaths were reported – Eleazar Peralta of Bambang town in Nueva Vizcaya on July 9 and Monsay Macaundar in Ugac, Norte, Tuguegarao City on July 13.

Peralta and Macaundar were killed after they reportedly resisted arrest and threatened the arresting police officers with grenade.

Three people died allegedly from summary execution by people among their groups.

The victims were identified as Jomar Clemente of Abulug, Cagayan; Marlon Dauag of Cauayan City, Isabela; and Justine Ortega of Isabela who were found dead between July 5 and July 9.

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