• TIGHTER SECURITY FOR ECIJA REHAB CENTER SOUGHT

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    CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija: The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) staff in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City had foiled a escape attempt of three patients in two separate incidents. Health Secretary Rosalyn Ubial said the incidents happened in January and last Wednesday. She admitted security lapses but promised to remedy them by requesting additional security staff from Governor Czarina Umali of Nueva Ecija. Ubial refused to identify who made the escape attempts. The DOH runs the DATRC, which is capable of taking in 10,000 drug patients. Police Supt. Leandro Novilla, Talavera town police chief, said rehabilitation center residents who had volunteered to surrender can ask management to allow them to go home when they feel fit enough to rejoin their families. The rehab process lasts about at least 3 to 6 months. Earlier, the Nueva Ecija provincial government launched an anti-drug campaign called the United Stand Against Dangerous Drugs (USADD) with initial 100 suspected drug addicts undergoing rehabilitation at the DATRC. As part of the added security measures, passenger jeepneys are ni longer allowed inside the military compound housing the DATRC.

    CELSO M. CAJUCOM

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