Low supply pushes shabu price to P12k/gram


DAVAO CITY – Low supply of shabu here is taking toll on the drug buy-bust operation by local police authorities and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Director Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum said it has been challenging for the police to launch buy-bust operation the past months because the low supply of shabu has brought the price from P2,000 per gram to P12,000 in Davao.

Since April, Tagum said the shabu supply had been sold in small quantity, but the price has gone up.

“Mahirap (Difficult). It (P12,000) is a large sum of money to convince pusher. May pambili (We have money to buy) before,” Tagum said.

But this does not stop the DCPO to launch anti-drug operations.

“We will not stop habang may nagtitinda pa ng drugs (We will not stop until there are still people peddling drugs),” Tagum stressed.

Asked why authorities did not bring the operations to high-end subdivisions and universities, PDEA 11 assistant director Joel Plaza admitted it is one area that is challenging for the authorities as most are reported financiers.

“Hindi ganyan kadali hulihin (It is not that easy to arrest),” Plaza said, emphasizing that drugs itself is the evidence. Plaza noted that there is no shabu laboratory in Davao Region.

Shabu supply is sneaked in by couriers from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Region 10 particularly Lanao del Sur, Marawi, and Iligan.

According to Plaza, supply of shabu in Davao has dropped because of the ongoing crisis in Marawi.

Tagum said DCPO is also trying to encourage barangay officials to revive the ronda-system to include in private subdivisions. They (barangay officials) can coordinate this with the security guards of subdivisions.

Plaza added that PDEA has projects in relation to the conduct of anti-drugs operations in subdivisions.

Meanwhile, Plaza reported that PDEA’s continuing drive against hard drugs in the region resulted in the arrest of 611 drug personalities during its 480 operations from January to July, this year.

PDEA operatives also confiscated 835 grams of shabu valued at P4.175 million (at P5,000 per gram) and 5,703 grams of marijuana valued at P199,000.

Plaza said PDEA already filed a total of 1,685 cases in Davao region.

Given this development, both Tagum and Plaza assured that the government will continue with its campaign to clean the country of hard drugs in line with the campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte. Lilian Mellejor/PNA-northboundasia.com