BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: More drug users and pushers surrendered to the police following the killing of a suspected drug pusher in Bambang town.
Senior Supt. Leumar Abugan, police provincial director, said 1,246 drug users and pushers turned their selves in. The number is 846 more than the 400 illegal drug users and pushers on their watch list.
“The number of illegal drug users and pushers who voluntarily surrendered rose rapidly after a suspected drug pusher in Bambang town was gunned down by police authorities earlier this month in Barangay Buag,” he added.
On July 9, suspected pusher Eleazar Peralta was killed after he reportedly resisted arrest and threatened to throw a grenade at police officers. who came to serve him an arrest warrant.
Abugan said local police stations in the 15 towns of Nueva Vizcaya continue to receive feelers from those who want to avail of a rehabilitation program for drug dependents.
If the users qualify for the program, he added, they will be under the custody and care of barangay (village) officials after taking their oath to quit the habit forever.
Meanwhile, police said only 71 out of the 275 villages in the province are drug- affected.
“There may be more because of the refusal of some barangay officials to report the true situation in their community, particularly the presence of illegal drug suspects in their respective communities,” Abugan said.
Some village officials said they fear for their lives after receiving threats from unidentified groups linked to some influential people and protectors.
In La Union, Gov. Francisco Emmanuel Ortega 3rd said 29 village officials were among the 2,800 drug suspects, including three marijuana cultivators and 298 shabu pushers, who recently surrendered to the police.
Senior Supt. Angelito Dumangeng, La Union police director, reported that since July 1, several high-profile drug suspects in the province have taken an oath to kick the drug habit.