Shabu, marijuana remain drugs of choice in Cordillera – PDEA

BONTOC, Mountain Province March 27 – The Cordillera office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-CAR) disclosed that shabu and marijuana remain the drugs of choice in the region based on the results of anti-drug operations that were conducted by police operatives and anti-narcotics regionwide over the past several months.

PDEA-CAR regional director Edgar Afalla claimed that marijuana plantations are believed to be located in the hinterlands of Tinglayan, Kalinga based on the results of the previous marijuana eradication operations that were jointly conducted by combined police operatives and anti-narcotics agents.

Further, Afalla reported during the first quarter joint meeting of the Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) and Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC-CAR) chaired by Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan that a total of 9 positive marijuana eradication operations were conducted based on the information received by authorities that marijuana is present in the said areas.

He added that marijuana hashish and marijuana hash oil are reportedly processed in some areas in Tinglayan, Kalinga and marijuana plants are reaped, dried and compacted into bricks and discretely transported outside the region.

However, the PDEA-CAR official reported that there was no presence of alleged illegal shabu laboratory in the region but the Cordillera remains the transshipment point of shabu from the lowlands to the different parts of the region.

"Tactical interview of arrested drug personalities disclosed that the supply line of shabu entering the Cordillera comes from the National Capital Region, and CALABARZON passing through the major entry points of the region using public utility buses and private vehicles by some drug personalities in the region," he quipped.

On the other hand, Afalla noted that marijuana products are coming from some areas in Tinglayan, Kalinga and Kibungan, Benguet and records show that personalities from the lowlands in cahoots with local drug personalities are allegedly smuggling marijuana in different forms from the said areas going to some parts of Luzon using major highways in the provinces of Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province and Benguet as their major routes and exit points.

According to him, the average price of shabu as of February 2019 within the region is P6,250 per gram and P21,062 per bulto while the average price of marijuana in the region during the said period was P125 per gram and P7,666 per kilo.

He revealed that for the first three months of this year, there were 168 drug personalities that were monitored to be listed and operating within the different parts of the region and they are both categorized as target list and watch list personalities wherein there are 14 target listed and 37 watch listed personalities in Abra, 1 watch listed drug personality in Apayao, 50 personalities target listed and 22 watch listed personalities in Baguio, 4 target listed and 18 watch listed drug personalities in Benguet, 1 watch listed drug personality in Ifugao, 6 target listed and 13 watch listed personalities in Kalinga and 2 watch listed drug personalities in Mountain Province.

By Dexter A. See

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