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Suspects' trek to police continues.

SAN AGUSTIN -- This town became witness yesterday to the latest in a string of surrenders of drug suspects that is being linked to a brutal campaign against drug trafficking that the incoming Duterte administration plans to carry out as soon as it assumes office today.

Two days before incoming President Rodrigo Duterte takes his oath of office as the country's 16th President, 43 drug peddlers and abusers turned themselves in to the town police force.

The youngest to surrender was a 15-year-old boy who was turned over to the social welfare office. The oldest was a 50-year-old jobless man who said he was hooked on drugs but had decided to reform, according to Chief Insp. William Agpalza, San Agustin police chief.

Those who surrendered were accompanied by village officials, Agpalza said. He said none of them was on the police watch list of suspected drug traders and users.

The police would monitor their rehabilitation or their shift in livelihood, Agpalza said.

A recent spate of cases of violence in Isabela has been attributed to the drug war.

On Monday in San Pablo town, Raffy Gumaru, 21, a village watchman, was killed by a lone gunman in Barangay Annamunan, where suspected drug peddlers were arrested recently.

In Naguilian town, another village watchman, Artemio Domincel, 50, was shot dead allegedly by a village chief.

On June 24 in Quirino town, Gerry Borromeo, 31, was killed by armed men in two sports utility vehicles. On the same day in San Isidro town, brothers Hernani and Orville Dayday were caught with six sachets of suspected shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride), a P1,000 marked bill and a handgun.

In Benguet province, two suspected drug users submitted themselves to police custody in the mining town of Mankayan on June 28. On the same day, the Baguio City police arrested two Italians when they found several pots of marijuana plants at their veranda in Gibraltar village.

In Northern Mindanao, eight drug dealers surrendered to Bukidnon Gov. Jose Maria Zubiri Jr., who presented them to the National Bureau of Investigation regional office on Monday.

NBI Northern Mindanao Director Angelito Magno said no charges would be filed against them because the suspects were not covered by warrants of arrest and were not in possession of narcotics when they surrendered.

But Magno warned them they would be arrested once NBI learned they continued to push drugs. Zubiri asked drug dealers to avail themselves of alternative livelihood projects being offered by the Bukidnon provincial government.

On June 26, at least 400 suspected drug dealers and users surrendered to the Esperanza town police in Sultan Kudarat province.

In the provinces of Bohol and Iloilo, the campaign against drugs continued with the arrest of a prosecutor's son and the surrender of 30 users.

Policemen pounced on Jade Barimbao Delusa, 32, during a buy bust operation in Barangay Manga, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, on Tuesday.

Seized from Delusa were 17 sachets of suspected shabu worth P295,000 and other drug paraphernalia.

Delusa, son of provincial prosecutor Macario Delusa, was tagged by the police as Tagbilaran's No. 1 drug personality.

In Iloilo, authorities attributed the surrender of at least 30 pushers from the island-village of Asluman in Carles town to fear of Duterte's war on drugs.

One of those who surrendered said he was afraid to get killed in Duterte's campaign.

Senior Insp. Jojit Mananquil, head of the Bohol police's provincial intelligence branch-special operations group, said Delusa would be charged.

Mananquil said Delusa had been under surveillance for months. The provincial police, he said, planned out a buy-bust operation to get Delusa.

Around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, an undercover policeman met Delusa in Barangay Manga to buy drugs from the suspect.

Mayor Sigfred Betita, of Carles town, said he expects more users and pushers to turn themselves in.

Betita said those who surrendered would be given training by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to help them find a living for their families.

Last week, a self-confessed pusher and six drug users surrendered to the police station in Anilao town in northern Iloilo.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jun 30, 2016
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