• LGUs should clear cockpits of drug trade

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    The local government units should likewise be responsible in eradicating the use of cockpit arenas as venue for drug trade, House leaders said Friday.

    Representatives Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao province, Romero Quimbo of Marikina City, Elpidio Barzaga of Dasmariñas City and Romeo Acop of Antipolo City expressed such sentiments in light of the disclosure of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that it is probing drug deals transpiring in cockpit arenas because drug traffickers are into cockfighting.

    “These cockpit arenas under supervision of LGUs. Ergo, they can assign member of the PNP to patrol such premises for illegal activities. We have to make sure that these LGUs are accountable in policing entertainment and revenue-generating places in their locality,” Baguilat, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, pointed out.

    “The police must take this matter seriously as much as the LGUs which has primary jurisdiction in regulating these arenas. The PNP must show that 2014 is a better year for enforcement of laws vs. illegal drugs,” Quimbo, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, added.

    Last Christmas day, the PDEA busted 84 kilos of shabu or methamphetamine hydrochloride worth P420 million in Lipa City, Batangas. Worse, it was later found to be an operation of Sinaloa drug syndicate.

    The Sinaloa drug cartel tops the list of the world’s five biggest drug cartels per renowned British newspaper the Guardian, describing the Mexican organized crime group as a smuggler of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin in at least 12 countries, mainly the United States.  The Mexican syndicate is headed by Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known as “El Chapo” or “Shorty”, who escaped in a Mexican prison in 2001 thru a laundry box and is regarded by the American authorities as the most powerful drug trafficker in the world.

    “Whenever there’s a derby, the police and the PDEA should go on strict monitoring of the cockpits,” Barzaga, Chairman of the House Committee on Games and Amusements, said in a separate talk.

    “There is no substitute for efficient, honest and intelligent police work,” Acop, a former cop, added.

    But for House Deputy Majority Leader Sherwin Tugna of Citizens Battle Against Corruption party-list, the flow of the illegal drugs should be stop from its tracks: the airports and seaports. LLANESCA T. PANTI

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