Cocpo disbands anti-drugs unit

THE anti-illegal drug unit of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) has been disbanded.

This, following President Rodrigo Duterte's order to the Philippine National Police to step aside and allow the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to solely implement the government's war on drugs.

Chief Inspector Mardy Hortillosa II, Cocpo spokesperson, said the City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) of Cocpo has been directed to shelve planned operations like drug busts, entrapment operations, and the implementation of warrants.

The 14-member CDEU operatives have already been reassigned to other police units, Hortillosa said.

He said drug enforcement teams of the different police stations will now become intelligence operatives.

"Unless naay directive nga ang drug enforcement operatives himoon nga maoy mag-gather og information sa drug activities pero so far wala pa man so undang sa ang CDEU sa drug operations (Unless there is a directive that drug enforcement operatives be made again to gather information on drug activities but so far, CDEU has not halted its operations)," Hortillosa said.

CDEU's records of drug personalities and their illegal drug activities will be consolidated and turned over to the PDEA-Northern Mindanao.

Hortillosa said the police will now focus on the anti-criminality and anti-terrorism campaign through the strategic implementation of the Enhanced Managing Police Operations.

The entire force of Cocpo is set to concentrate on the seven-focus crime namely murder, homicide, robbery, theft, physical injury, carnapping and rape through the Oplan Lambat-Sibat, the police's anti-crime strategy.

Cocpo chief Senior Superintendent Robert Roy Bahian said the city police as enforcers of the law will adhere and fully support the president's directive.

“Cocpo will support the PDEA in their campaign against illegal drugs if ever they will need our assistance in their operations,” Bahian said.

PDEA-Northern Mindanao agent Ben Calibre said the anti-narcotics agency will take the order as challenge and will exert all their efforts to satisfy the president as they take the lead in the drug war.

Calibre is positive the PDEA will gain the desired results with the kind of job they mastered for years and the cooperation of the community.

Calibre assures that PDEA agents will carefully follow proper and standard operating procedures during drug raids and operations.