GENERAL SANTOS CITY: More than 6,000 drug personalities have surfaced and surrendered voluntarily to authorities in Region 12 since May this year.
Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr., public information officer of Police Regional Office (PRO) 12, said a number of self-confessed drug pushers and users have been surfacing on a daily basis and they expect the figures to further increase in the coming days.
Galgo said most of the drug personalities decided to yield through the efforts of local police units and barangay officials.
“The response from our stakeholders has been overwhelming and this is a positive development in our fight against illegal drugs,” he said.
Also known as Soccsksargen, Region 12 is composed of the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
As of Thursday, some 3,587 individuals have turned out in South Cotabato; 2,000 in Sultan Kudarat; 342 in this city; 169 in Sarangani and 12 in North Cotabato.
They have all signed undertakings and pledged to lead transformed lives.
In South Cotabato, among the latest individuals who surrendered were 10 female professed drug dealers.
Police officers here reported new personalities who surfaced on Wednesday through officials of Barangay Calumpang.
In Sarangani, those who surrendered were residents of Malapatan town, including a drug pusher identified as Sonny Malik of Barangay Tuyan who has been previously detained for the same offense.
On July 4, the PRO-12 will formally launch special Project DUTERTE, which stands for Drug Use and Trafficking Elimination through Rehabilitation, Training and Enforcement.
The move is in support of the anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte.
It said Project DUTERTE “aims to bring to the fold of the law those who are involved in the use and proliferation of illegal drugs.”
It will facilitate their rehabilitation through various programs in coordination with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, local government units and other concerned stakeholders.
The program include skills enhancement and personality development trainings to help the beneficiaries secure jobs and divert them from illegal drug-related activities.