THE Taguig City government on Friday urged anti-drug agencies to step up the fight against illegal drugs and dismantle from top-to-bottom the big and small-time criminal syndicates.
Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano asked national anti-drug agencies such as Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct more operations against drug syndicates that are responsible for the proliferation of the illegal trade in the country.
The mayor issued the statement following the arrest of two Canadian nationals in possession of illegal drugs worth millions of pesos in a condo unit in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) on Wednesday.
“On behalf of the local government of Taguig, we throw our full and unwavering support to the concerted efforts against illegal drugs,” she said.
Cayetano said she has already instructed the Taguig City police to intensify the war against illegal drugs in the city.
At the same time, Cayetano also asked parents and teachers to aid in educating the youth on the dangers of illegal drugs, both its use and trafficking.
“Illegal drugs destroy lives, futures, families and communities. We are all stakeholders in the war against drugs; families, schools, and both the local and national government,” she stressed.
She cited a study conducted by the Ateneo De Manila University in 2004 indicating there were 3.4 million drug users in the Philippines and 70 percent of all heinous crimes were drug related.
She also added that in last year’s report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), methamphetamine, commonly known as “shabu” in the Philippines, remains the predominant illicit drug in South-East Asia where 122.8 million meth pills were seized in 2011.
The same report cited that Asia has the second largest number of countries with reported emergence of new psychoactive substances (NPS), including the Philippines, based on the 2012 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime survey.
“With the alarming figures, it is imperative that we become pro-active,” Cayetano said emphasizing the importance of law enforcement measures.
Before the mayor took over the helm in Taguig, the city had the bad reputation of being an illegal drugs “hot spot” mainly due to the extensive operations of the syndicate that reached the point wherein shabu can be bought in sari-sari stores.
In 2013, prominent members of the Tinga Drug Syndicate, which included Joana Tinga and Henry Tinga, were arrested in a raid in Barangay Sta. Ana.
Prior to this, the Taguig police arrested Elisa “Ely” Tinga, an alleged key member of the Tinga Drug Syndicate and the third most wanted in the police watchlist. RITCHIE A. HORARIO