Fake drug users surrender for livelihood

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ILAGAN, Isabela: The provincial go-vernment’s provision of up to P50,000 in livelihood assistance to drug users is the reason for some of the more than self-confessed 5,000 drug suspects to surrender to authorities.

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Gov. Faustino Dy 3rd had asked local officials in the province to be wary of those who turn themselves in after he learned that some are faking their drug addiction to take advantage of the livelihood assistance offered.

Dy called on all officials, including village chairmen, to conduct background verification on surrendering drug suspects and make them undergo a drug test before including them in the list of beneficiaries.

“We have to carefully evaluate if they are really drug users. Otherwise, we may be dealing with someone who pretends to be one just to avail of our livelihood assistance,” he said.

The provincial government provides support of up to P50,000 in livelihood assistance specifically to drug users.

The assistance will be given either in cash or kind, depending on the surrenderer’s economic status.

“A drug suspect’s surrender is not a guarantee that he is off the hook,” Dy said.

The Police Regional Public Information officer, Supt. Chvalier Iringan, said more than 14,715 have already surrendered in Cagayan Valley (Region 2) who admitted to be drug users or drug pushers.

The region comprises the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Cagayan, Isabela and Batanes Group of Islands.

The total number of drug users in Cagayan Valley who have surrendered is 13,762 while drug pushers number 953.

Cagayan has 6,128 drug suspects who surrendered and Isabela has 5,041.

The Police Region 2 Director, Chief Insp. Gilbert Sosa, said from July 1 to 31, they visited a total of 19,001 households under “Oplan Tokhang.”

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