BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-CAR) classified seven individuals from the different parts of the region as persons of interest for their alleged involvement in direct drug financing.
PDEA-CAR regional director Gil Cesario Castro stated that the agency is now on the stage of validating the assets of the said individuals if the same will be commensurate to their bank deposits and source of income so that the ongoing investigation could proceed to the next step.
He pointed out that the anti-narcotics agents are in possession of certain documents that would lead them to make conclusions of the link of the said individuals to drug lords detained in the national penitentiary but further validation has yet to be done to ensure that the cases that will be filed against them will be air tight.
The PDEA-CAR official asserted that there is a need for the agency to continue putting the heat on against the drug personalities for them to be forced to leave the region to avoid the continuous distribution of the illegal drugs which continuous to threaten the bright future of the youth.
Director Castro claimed that probers want to take a different approach in trying to determine the involvement of the said personalities to the drug trade in the region that is why they are working hard to coordinate with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLAC) to be able to look into their bank deposits to be able to establish the lead on their connection to the identified drug lords outside the region.
According to him, the active participation of the citizens is important to ensure the success of the government’s anti-drug campaign because by merely reporting to them individuals with doubtful lifestyle will surely allow them to look into the matter and establish whether or not their sources of income are really legitimate.
Castro explained that there are individuals who have already established good images in the eyes of the residents in their communities but when they tried to conduct an in depth investigation on their stature, it ha been found out that the said personalities had a direct link with some drug lords who are detained in the Bilibid prison.
He stipulated that previously, the preferred drug in the country is shabu but because of the limitation on the supply due to the aggressive anti-drug operations by the law enforcement agencies, the same shifted to marijuana because it is much cheaper and could be easily accessed.
Castro asserted that law enforcement agencies cannot do the job alone that is why the information from the public is important to allow them to be able to get to the root of the country’s drug problem.
He rallied the people to willfully provide them with vital information on the activities of drug personalities in their places so that they will be able to conduct the necessary operation to effect their arrest and continue their gains in reducing the supply and demand for illegal drugs to spare the youth from its negative effects.