BACOOR CITY, Cavite -– Around 2,076 illegal drug pushers and users, including some minors and village officials, voluntarily surrendered and took their oath en masse before Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado Revilla, newly designated Cavite Provincial Police Director Senior Supt. Arthur Bisnar and Bacoor City Police Chief Christopher Olazo over the weekend.
The surrenderers pledged to give up on their illegal vices and halt their illicit drug trade to the city officials who officiated in the mass oath-taking at the Strike Gymnasium and Sports Center here.
Of the 2,076 who surrendered to authorities, there were 1,890 illegal drug users; 148 pushers; three minors and three kagawad (village council) members.
They were accompanied and transported to the venue by 73 barangay leaders representing the city’s 73 barangays.
Upon arrival at the gymnasium, the surrenderers were treated to breakfast and were welcomed by Mayor Revilla, Bisnar and Olazo for the mass oath-taking ceremony.
Revilla remarked, “This is your last chance to change and stop using and selling illegal drugs because you will be meted with the full force of the law.”
Revilla assured them of the city government assistance but warned, “I am here to help you, but you must help yourselves first.”
She also ordered the surrenderers to undergo the drug test before they will be placed under custody in the different rehabilitation centers in Tagaytay City or in Pampanga.
The city mayor also assured them of livelihood training, back-to-school learning, drug counselling, sport activities and food-for-work program so they could earn income.
Revilla, however, urged the surrenderers that they should be physically and mentally fit for any gainful employment and make sure they are no longer drug users.
According to Olazo, all of the pushers and users initially surrendered to their village leaders from each of the 73 barangays following the week-long “Oplan TOKHANG” conducted in the various villages.
Olazo disclosed that the surrenderers came in groups daily to the city police station during the week’s intensive police operations as they were transported by village chiefs and had their names recorded discreetly by the police.
Bisnar said the Bacoor City surrenderers represented the largest number so far in the entire Cavite province.
He also cited Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) sources that the barangays in Kawit and Dasmariñas City are the most affected with illegal drugs but only a few of them have surrendered to authorities so far. Rogelio Limpin/PNA/northboundasia.com