GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Authorities recovered around PHP6 million worth of illegal drugs in a series of operations in parts of South Cotabato province in the first quarter of the year.
Separate reports from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Region 12 (PDEA-12) and the South Cotabato Police Provincial Office (SCPPO) said the illegal items were seized in 140 anti-drug operations from January to March.
Lt. Col. Emerson Policarpio, SCPPO operations and management unit chief, said Tuesday they conducted a total of 128 operations during the period that led to the confiscation of some PHP3.2 million worth of illegal drugs, mostly shabu.
He said their operatives arrested at least 182 pushers and users, and already filed 100 cases in local courts.
Policarpio said they are continually updating and expanding their intelligence operations to track down illegal drug-related activities in the province’s 10 towns and lone city.
“These are focused on determining the drug routes so we can preempt the movements of drug personalities,” he told reporters.
For their part, PDEA-12 spokesperson Katryn Gaye Abad said they launched at least 12 major operations in the province from January to March that netted some PHP2.8 million worth of shabu.
She said these led to the arrest of 14 suspects and the filing of 16 charges in various courts in the area.
Based on their assessment, she said South Cotabato remains a “drug consuming province,” with supplies entering the area through noted drug routes in nearby Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato.
“Drug trading in the province is dominated by local drug groups, with areas of concentration,” she said.
The prices of shabu in the area remain high at PHP6,500 to PHP8,000 per gram while marijuana is sold at PHP100 to PHP150 per gram, depending on the proximity from the source and mode of distribution, she said. (PNA)