Catch the big fish

The Philippine National Police Regional Office’s intensified campaign against drugs has already brought several victories.

Since Friday, for instance, the PNP has raided three drug dens in the City of Naga, along with another in the adjacent town of Camaligan. This has resulted to the apprehension of a number of drug users. Arrests have also been made in the towns of Nabua, Bato, Balatan, and Libmanan, and in the city of Iriga.

For these triumphs, the PNP must be commended. It is quite reassuring to know that it is possible for the local authorities to net these drug users, who have long been exposing Bicolanos to great risk.

However, while we are euphoric at these triumphs, we must not forget that these drug users are but small fry in what has morphed into a large fishing ground.

Still at large, it must be noted, are the big fish which are supplying these users with the illegal substances.

We thus dare the PNP to capture these suppliers, and once and for all cut off the flow of drugs into the region.

We urge them to review the hard facts, and perhaps even dispel misconceptions about the age profile, habits, and operation of these drug users.

As recent events have shown, what may have been true in the past as regards these offenders, may no longer be correct at present.

For instance, while many automatically think that drug users are quite young, many in fact turn out to be older.

Furthermore, the operations of drug transport appear to be no longer discreet, but are done right under the noses of ordinary citizens.

Just last week, it will be recalled that it was discovered by accident that a bus bound for Masbate was loaded with chemicals believed to be for the manufacture of metamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu.

Even social media has become a site where citizens openly name people that they believe to be users, showing that drug use has become scandalously brazen.

Some would even publicly admit that they are using drugs, as in the case of one young lady who was hooked this morning in a drug den in Camaligan.

Much work needs to be done. For this, the PNP’s role is more crucial than ever.

To truly abate this social menace, there must be a sincere, honest-to-goodness concerted effort from the intelligence operatives, along with support from local government units and private citizens.

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