By: Eileen Nazareno Ballesteros

Two female young adults are poised to face several charges in court for violation of different provisions of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2007 (RA 9165).
This was after they were caught en flagrante delicto engaged in illegal drugs activities during a buy-bust operation on January 8 conducted by operatives of the Tacloban City Police Office under the supervision of PSSupt. Rolando Bade, and in coordination with the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency.
Elements from TCPO-Station Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operation Task Group Police Station 2 led by PCInsp. Rudy Conejo Jr, with seven (7) Police Non-Commissioned Officers (PNCOs) conducted a Buy-Bust Operation at Purok Santol, Brgy 66, Paseo De Legaspi Tacloban City,at about 4:00 PM of January 8, 2017 that resulted to the arrest of an withheld in the name “Rosanna” ,23 years old, single, and a resident of same barangay and “Gloria”, 24 years old, single and a resident of Purok 2, Brgy 65, Paseo De Legaspi, this City, while two others were able to elude arrest.
According to Bade, the poseur buyer bought from the suspect one (1) piece heat-sealed transparent sachet containing suspected shabu.
Recovered from suspect’s actual possession and control were six (6) pieces heat sealed transparent sachet containing suspected shabu, two (2) pieces Php 100.00 peso bill, three (3) pieces improvised lighters, two (2) pieces improvised tooters, four (4) strips tinfoil, one (1) unit red cherry mobile, one (1) scissors, one (1) coin purse containing three (3) pieces Php 20.00 peso bill.
While confiscated from Tampil was one (1) piece small heat-sealed transparent plastic sachet containing suspected shabu.
Confiscated pieces of drug evidence were turned-over to the Regional Crime Laboratory Office (RCLO8) for qualitative and quantitative analysis while the other pieces of non-drug evidence were turned-over to TCPO Evidence Custodian.
Suspects are now under the custody of Police Station 2 Custodial Facility while cases for Violation of Sections 5, 6, 7, 11, 12 & 15 of RA 9165 are being prepared for filing before the City Prosecutor’s Office.
Section 5 of RA 9165 is about Sale, Trading, Administration, Dispensation, Delivery, Distribution and Transportation of Dangerous Drugs and/or Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals; Section 6 is Maintenance of a Den, Dive or Resort; Section 7 is the penalty imposed on Employees and Visitors of a Den, Dive or Resort; Section 11 is for the Possession of Dangerous Drugs; Section 12 for Possession of Equipment, Instrument, Apparatus and Other Paraphernalia for Dangerous Drugs; and Section 15 is for use of Dangerous Drugs.
On January 4, joint elements from TCPO-CAIDSOTG, Tacloban City Public Safety Company, Military Intelligence Group (MIG) team and (MI) PA team led by PCInsp Steve E Castillote III with one (1) Police Commissioned Officer (PCO), eight (8) Police Non-Commissioned Officers (PNCOs) conducted a buy-bust operation at Brgy 109-A V&G Subd., Tacloban City, at about 3:45 PM of January 4, 2017.
The operation resulted to the arrest of Gabino Vincent Pasagui y Navarro, 36 years old, single, driver and a resident of 246, Blk 3 Lt 5, New York St., Brgy 109-A, V&G Subd., Tacloban City, according to Bade.
The poseur buyer bought from the suspect was one (1) piece heat-sealed transparent sachet containing suspected shabu. Charges have been filed for violation of Section 5 and 11 against Pasagui.
Meanwhile, the PNP Regional Office claims victory in the illegal drugs operation with the declaration of drug free barangays across Eastern Visayas.
In a press statement, the PRO8 Region 8 has obtained 18% drug-cleared barangays since Barangay Drug Clearing Operations have been implemented in October 2016, says PCSupt Elmer C Beltejar, the Regional Director of Police Regional Office 8.
He said that the entire region has three hundred seventy (370) barangays in different towns and cities that are already drug-cleared in collaboration with the Local Government Officials since the new administration launched its intensified narco-war.
Beltejar said that the number was the latest recorded so far as of January 3, 2017.
The region has a total of 2, 474 affected barangays from 4, 390 total number of barangays with a variance of 2, 104 total number of barangays to be cleared from drugs.
All these said barangays underwent rigorous evaluation down to the grassroots in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils and PRO8 aims to declare more municipalities/barangays as drug-free this year with the continuous implementation of Project Double Barrel-Alpha, according to Beltejar.
PRO8 Public Relations Office chief SSupt. Elizar Egloso explained that the declaration of the drug-free barangays is based on the following factors: non-availability of drug supply; absence of drug transit or transhipment activity; absence of clandestine drug laboratory; absence of clandestine drug warehouse; absence of clandestine chemical warehouse; absence of marijuana cultivation site; absence of drug den, dive or resort; absence of drug pusher; absence of drug user/dependent.
There should also be absence of protector or coddler and financier; active involvement of barangays officials in anti-drug activities; active involvement of Sangguiniang Kabataan to help maintain the drug-liberated status of the barangay; existence of drug awareness, preventive education and information, and other related programs; and existence of voluntary and compulsory drug treatment and rehabilitation processing desk, Egloso added.
Beltejar considers the police operations against illegal drugs a “success” with the drug supply in the region cut by as much as 90% since the implementation of Project Double Barrel-Alpha and has challenged more cities and municipalities to protect their communities from being infiltrated by illegal drugs, according to Egloso.