PDEA confirms Mabilog’s anti-drug efforts paying off: Iloilo loses tag as most ‘shabulized’
The illegal drugs supply in Iloilo City has dropped significantly since the Mabilog administration began mobilizing barangay officials for a sustained campaign that included education, treatment and rehabilitation, and material support for law enforcement operations.
This was the assessment made by Atty. Gil Pabilona, regional director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), yesterday in an interview over the Pro Jobs radio program of the Iloilo City Government on Aksyon Radyo.
“City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog responded positively to the depiction of Iloilo City as the most ‘shabulized’ city by mounting a sustained effort to combat illegal drugs,” Pabilona said.
Pabilona said his agency has noted a sharp decline in the number of drug personalities in Iloilo City since he took over last year.
In addition, he said the “drug drug supply is much less” compared to last year.
“There are still arrests, but these have become fewer and fewer,” he said.
This campaign became even stronger after Mabilog launched a scheme to reimburse expenses of law enforcers in conducting buy-bust activities, Pabilona said.
Mabilog announced recently that the city government will help the PDEA and PNP carry out their anti-drug operations by reimbursing expenses for surveillance and buy-bust money.
In the past, the PDEA and PNP were handicapped by their limited funds to use as buy-bust money because these are usually kept for safe-keeping as evidence.
Pabilona also said it is important that PDEA reduces the drugs trade in Iloilo City because it is “the center of gravity” for narcotics.
“Once we succeed in neutralizing the illegal drugs business in the city, everything else will follow,” he said.
Pabilona also highlighted the pressure exerted by Mabilog on barangay officials to closely monitor the activities of drug personalities in their areas of jurisdiction.
He said the city’s drug dependent treatment and rehabilitation program was the first to be implemented among all cities.
“The program, which was launched ahead of the issuance of DOH guidelines, is compliant with the latter,” he said.
Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte called Iloilo “the most shabulized” in the the country or the city has the biggest supply of shabu or methamphetamine hydrochloride, also known as crystal meth.