CPPO chief welcomes creation of task force vs illegal drugs

CEBU Police Provincial Office (CPPO) Chief Colonel Rommel Ochave has welcomed the creation of One-Cebu Inter-Agency Interdiction Task Force that will pursue illegal drugs entering the province of Cebu.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia formed the task force to prevent the entry of drugs into the province as part of her aim for Cebu to become drug cleared.

The task force is composed of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA 7), Philippine Coast Guard, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Bureau of Customs and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Ochave said the formation of a joint task force will help prevent the entry of contraband into the province.

He added that the war against illegal drugs cannot be done by just two government agencies but all sector of government, including the public.

According to Ochave, the creation of the Inter-Agency Task Force does not mean that the supply of illegal drugs in Cebu has flourished because there is no shabu laboratory here and all the supply comes from Luzon.

“Ang pagbuo nito na task force is once and for all i-address yung pagpasok ng droga sa Cebu kasi wala’ng manufacturing dito, para maging drug cleared talaga ang Cebu yan yung pinaka-objective natin,” Ochave said.

(The formation of task force is once and for all to address the entry of drugs in Cebu because there is no manufacturing here, so that Cebu is really cleared of drugs, that is our main objective).

Ochave admitted that they are facing many challenges in the battle against drugs since the PNP, together with PDEA 7, lacks equipment such as dogs to detect illegal drugs.

The CPPO director thanked the local chief executives who promised to buy dogs to be trained by the Philippine Coast Guard to check contraband going through the ports and airports in Cebu.

Ochave is confident that the task force will be effective with the help of the barangay watchmen who will watch over their coasts.

With this development, it is presumed that those high value individuals who were previously arrested and those who intend to smuggle illegal drugs into the island will now be afraid. (AYB, TPT)