• Drug users swamp Bicol police stations

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    LEGAZPI CITY: The provincial police in Sorsogon said a 41-year-old drug suspect in the municipal watchlist of Irosin, Sorsogon, recently surrendered his gun, plastic sachet of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) and drug paraphernalia to the Irosin Municipal Police Office, one among many in the growing list of over 10,000 mass ssurrenderees in the Bicol region since the new administration of President Rodrigo Duterte took over two weeks ago.

    Sr. Supt. Ronaldo Cabral, Sorsogon police chief, in an interview Friday, said Wellie Lopina, married, of Barangay San Pedro, Irosin town surrendered his .45-caliber gun, plastic sachet of shabu and drug paraphernalia on Wednesday afternoon.

    Records from the Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) based in Camp Ola said surrenderees like Lopina continued to flock to offices of the police and local chief executives all over Bicol region since President Duterte took over.

    PRO5 told a regional consultation of the National Police Commission in this city on Wednesday that the number of surrenderees in Bicol has reached 10,483, of whom 9,590 were users and 893 pushers, over a two-week period that started on July 1.

    In Sorsogon, Cabral said the total number of surrenderees reached 1,414, of whom 1,254 were users while 160 were pushers. He said 18 peddlers had been arrested and three drug pushers killed since start of the campaign in the province. He said Sorsogon police recovered three hand grenades and four handguns during the same period.

    He said some of the suspects deemed as a “high value target” in their province had already surrendered. They included an incumbent village chairman in Bulan town, a 50-year-old businessman in Pilar town and a 59- year- old male suspect listed as No. 8 in the target drug suspects in Bulusan town.

    Among the drug suspects deemed of high value was a businessman who was arrested in a buy-bust operation on July 6 in Barangay Talisay, Sorsogon City. He was identified as 53-year-old Peter Escobar.

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