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Close to 4,000 illegal drug suspects have surrendered in Central Mindanao alone, a few days before President-elect Rodrigo Duterte assume office.
Supt. Romeo Galgo, spokesman of the Central Mindanao police, said South Cotabato and Cotanato have the most number of surrenderees with 2,490 and 1,342 respectively.
“These include drug pushers and drug users. This is a great leap in illegal drugs reduction effort,” said Galgo.
He explained that the reduction of illegal drugs use will have a definite impact on the reduction of petty crimes.
But Galgo would not call it as surrender, saying the term they are using to describe it surfacing of illegal drugs personalities.
He explained that they use the word surrender for those who have pending arrest warrants while those who are neither in the watchlist nor have arrest warrant is called surfacing.
Galgo then lauded their local commanders for their respective initiative to encourage the illegal drug users and pushers not to continue with their illegal activities.
“There are several approaches. But this is more of the result of the good coordination between the police and the local chief executives down to the barangay level,” said Galgo.
So far, the problem they are now facing is how to accommodate those who both surrendered and surfaced to the local officials and local police.
He revealed that the local rehabilitation can no longer accommodate them all.
“Our regional director is currently coordinating with the mayors and other concerned agencies. There are plans to directly enroll them to some programs like moral recovery program and that of TESDA (Technical Education Skills and Development Authority),” said Galgo. (AARON RECUENCO)