MASBATE CITY: The relentless drive against drug running and criminality was at the top of reelected Mayor Rowena Tuason’s priorities as she officially began her second term on Friday.
Speaking after she took her oath of office in front of City Hall workers and Municipal Trial Court in Cities Judge Rolando Sandigan, Tuason outlined other issues she would focus on, namely the establishment of a center that will house national agencies, road infrastructure, livelihood and agriculture, education, tourism and health and sanitation.
Tuason said the city government will increase the budget for the police operations against the illegal drug trade.
The enormity of the drug problem in Masbate was spotlighted with the discovery of secret methamphetamine laboratories last year.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force operatives swooped down on two drug laboratories in Masbate City on Feb. 14, 2015 and arrested three suspects in the raid on the drug facilities located at the compounds believed to be owned by former municipal mayors.
The alleged chemists of the drug facilities—two Chinese nationals—were caught in a same-day entrapment operation in Manila.
Last January, two employees at the Moises R. Espinosa Airport were found positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride or ‘shabu’ in random drug testing conducted by Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines that month.
Only last June 20, a 33-year-old woman was arrested with her 18-year-old customer in an entrapment operation at Masbate Boulevard.