44 alleged drug users voluntarily surrender in Iloilo

ILOILO CITY — The massive campaign of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) against illegal drugs has already persuaded 44 alleged drug users to submit themselves voluntarily to law enforcers.

As of date, the IPPO through its various municipal police stations (MPS) has 44 surrenderees from towns of Anilao, Carles and Oton.

IPPO spokesperson Chief Inspector Aron Palomo said that the latest to surrender was the 26 alleged drug users from barangay Asluman, an island-barangay of Carles. They were supposed to be 30 but due to the limited capacity of the pumpboat that transported the group, only 26 were able to reach the mainland.

Their surrender on Tuesday was facilitated by barangay captain Abelardo Montibon and Carles mayor Sigfred Betita, he added.

On the same day, 11 individuals from the town of Oton also presented themselves to the local police station. Last week seven alleged drug pushers from the municipality of Anilao also surrendered to authorities.

However, with the lack of guidelines on how to deal with the surrenderees, they were only asked to execute an affidavit of undertaking through their lawyer. Thereafter they will be properly documented and given the option to stay at the local police office or go back to their respective homes. Should they opt to stay at police stations, they also have to sign a waiver, Palomo added.

As part of the process, also, Palomo added that the surrenderees will have to undergo drug test, the cost of which shall be shouldered by the PNP. Although he cited that Section 15 of Republic Act 9165 provides that PNP will shoulder the drug test of those arrested during the actual operations.

Palomo hoped that the higher headquarters will look into the domino effect of the massive drive, citing among others the need for funds to undertake drug tests.

Nonetheless, he hoped that other LGUs in the province would emulate what the local government unit of Carles has done. Carles is eyeing to provide the surrenderees with alternative livelihood and let them undergo skills training.

“We encourage our local chief executives to support the PNP in the campaign against illegal drugs because it will be beneficial to their town and their constituents,” he said. PNA/northboundasia.com