The past two months witnessed the series of drugs related incidents, summarized into a chain of buy-bust operations and successful arrests by police operatives in various towns and cities across the province. The most recent and high-profile being the arrest of a police officer in Bayawan City for alleged drug possession, peddling and use. As of press time, charges are being prepared against the same officer along with his civilian cohorts for mauling fellow detainees at the Bayawan City police station.
The successful efforts were made possible through the lead of the Task Force Kasaligan, a provincial team composed by law-enforcement agencies specifically constituted to arrest the proliferation of drugs in the province.
The Visayan Daily Star reported that in the past 20 days, TFK operations yielded 14 suspects for using and selling illegal drugs in violation of Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
This developed despite the meager budget and personnel under the Task Force according to NBI’s Miguel Dungog, TFK team leader. In fact, some LGUs have been mulling the establishment of similar task force in their areas of responsibility.
However, this also exposes the state of delinquency on the part of law enforcers themselves for their inefficiencies in the past years, giving way to the magnitude of arrests now. In other words, the drug rings and dens in the province have long been proliferating under their watch, and yet they were not able to curb them. Thus, whether we like or not, it’s a fact that the province is a drugs haven at any point in time, until TFK’s constitution.
But as to the political will and sustainability of this collaborative effort, the brunt is on the leadership of the law enforcers themselves as well as the provincial down to the local officials. And disproving the belief that the 14 arrests are just the tip of the iceberg, and that the big fishes are still at large elsewhere in Negros Oriental.