COTABATO CITY: Worried fathers turned over their illegal drug-dependent children to the police and village officials here, afraid they might end up dead, with the intensified drive against drugs and crimes.
Samad, a resident of Barangay Poblacion Mother in Cotabato City, said he was glad his 16-year-old daughter agreed to voluntarily surrender to the police.
He said he was afraid his daughter might be “salvaged” (summarily executed) because of the government’s relentless drive against illegal drugs called “Oplan Double Barrel.”
“I would rather see her detained and undergoing rehabilitation. It pains me but that is the best we can do to save her,” Samad said, adding that his daughter had been using shabu the past four years.
Another father also brought in his son to the police, dreading the thought of one day seeing his son dead during police anti-illegal drug operations.
Teng Usman, chairman of Barangay Poblacion Mother here, also surrendered his youngest 22-year-old son, whom he described as illegal-drug dependent. He said his son has been into illegal drugs for the past seven years.
Usman’s son admitted that his friends influenced him to try the stuff in 2008 and has not stopped since then.
“I was afraid about what would President Duterte would do against us, so I agreed to surrender,” he told reporters hours after he signed an affidavit of undertaking before Cotabato City police officers.
Usman said he repeatedly tried to convince his son to reform, to no avail. He even sent his son to relatives in the Moro rebel front to change his ways, but it did not help.
Supt. Danny Reyes, Cotabato City police director, said at least 600 self-proclaimed illegal drug users and pushers from 37 villages have appeared before the police and signed “affidavits of undertaking” and vowed to cease using illegal drugs.
Reyes said the police “Oplan Double Barrel” campaign will continue, even as he appealed to drug pushers, users, peddlers and drug lords to avail of the opportunity to reform.
The “Oplan Double Barrel” represents the two-pronged approach of the Philippine National Polie (PNP) against the narcotics trade. A gun’s upper barrel is symbolically aimed at high value-targets and drug lords, while the lower barrel is directed at drug pushers, peddlers and police protectors.