DRUG pushers have become so bold, they don’t fear putting up drug dens at the very perimeter of the Philippine National Police’s Camp Crame headquarters in Quezon City.
Lawmen learned this after they unleashed simultaneous pre-dawn raids on at least 12 drug dens at densely populated West Crame village in San Juan City, right beside Camp Crame, resulting in the arrest of 20 suspected drug pushers.
Raiding party leaders even arrested a policeman and was hot on the tracks of an agent of the National Bureau of Investigation who supposedly protected the illegal drug trade in the village. Both the policeman and NBI agent, however, were not identified pending ongoing follow-through operations.
Sr. Supt Antonio Gardiola, chief of the PNP Anti Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force, said the arrests and seizures was the result of a month-long surveillance of the areas and personalities involved.
“It was the effective partnership between the PNP and the community with a common desire to eradicate drugs in the barangays,” Gardiola said.
The operations were held on the basis of 12 search warrants issued by the Pasig Regional Trial Court.
Rogelio Tuscao, one of the suspects nab admitted using marijuana and denied peddling shabu, while Aurora Awa admitted to have been forced to peddle shabu out of poverty and due to her sick kid.
Gardiola said West Crame is just one of several barangays in Metro Manila that has been severely affected by drugs, adding that his task force will step up operations by targeting high-value suspects and their biggest facilities.
“I’m asking the citizenry in the communities not to be cowed in reporting illegal drug pushers and traders,” Gardiola said, adding that they are still investigating whether the arrested suspects are part of an international syndicate. With John Paolo Bencito