434 drug pushers, users surrender in Nueva Ecija

GAPAN CITY, Nueva Ecija — Some 434 suspected drug pushers and users in this city have pledged to stop their illegal activities in a covenant signed at the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (NEUST) gymnasium here Thursday.

The activity, part of the police’s anti-illegal drugs campaign Oplan Tokhang, was led by Mayor Emerson Pascual and city police chief, Supt. Peter Madria.

In his message, Pascual said the activity where people in the police drug watch list were called to swear and sign a pledge, was a manifestation of the government’s respect for life.

“Because we are giving you importance and respect,” Pascual said, explaining why no suspected pusher has been killed in the city despite a wave of gun attacks in adjacent places such as Cabanatuan City, Pampanga and Bulcan.

Pascual said he pleaded with the police to let him talk to the suspects and persuade them to stop the illegal activities.

But the mayor said he can only do so much.

He said he shares President Rodrigo Duterte’s resolve in fighting against drugs.

“We only have one goal. I will clean this city and the President will clean the country,” he told the crowd.

Pascual also gave himself 30 days to rid this city of illegal drugs.

He asked the “surrenderees” to show appreciation to his effort by saving their own lives.

“You do not need to thank us. You do not need to befriend us. Just stop the illegal activities and you have already pay back the importance and respect that we gave to all of you. Just think about yourself, your family and you will surely stop from illegal drugs,” the mayor said.

Madria said they will immediately implement police operation on people in their list who ignored the invitation for the Thursday covenant even as they will continue to validate the activities of those who promised to stop.

Meanwhile, authorities recovered Wednesday the bodies of three people, including two women, hogtied with bullet wounds on their heads and dumped near an irrigation canal in Barangay Gen. Luna, Llanera, Nueva Ecija. They were identifieda s Imelda Trapalgal, 46; of Bakal III; Alma Santos,47; of Barangay Marcos and Manuel Andres,47, of Barangay Sampaloc, all of Talavera town.

Investigation showed the victims were abducted from their respective residences by unidentified men on board a van.

Jonathan Atacador, 31, tricycle driver and reportedly included in the Highway Patrol Group’s (HPG’s) carnappers list was gunned down along Nueva Ecija-Aurora Road in San Isidro, Cabanatuan City after a drug suspect, Macario Ignacio, 45, jobless, was killed along Maharlika Highway in Barangay Bitas, also in Cabanatuan City.

Police reported that follow up investigations are being conducted to ascertain the identity of the suspects and motive behind such attacks. PNA/northboundasia.com