‘FREE-FOR-ALL’: Bacolod City’s P25.8-M drugs haul dwarfs other provinces, city in WV

The latest big-time drug haul scored by the Bacolod City police’s Drug Enforcement Unit was on Oct 1, 2019 where P1.32 million worth of suspected shabu were seized from two persons, including a minor, at Barangay Banago. The suspects were detained at Police Station 3. (Photo courtesy of Bacolod City Police Office)

By: Jennifer P. Rendon 

In a span of three months, the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) conducted 177 anti-drugs operations under its so-called “free-for-all” anti-drug operation.

From June 27 to Sept. 27, 2019, BCPO’s anti-narcotics campaign resulted in the confiscation of illegal drugs worth P25,882,467.60, based on Dangerous Drugs Board estimates.

The value of drugs seized in Bacolod City is higher compared to other provinces and cities in the region. Combining the seizures from the rest of Western Visayas is not even enough to equal Bacolod’s numbers.

Records from the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 also indicated that BCPO’s operations led to 275 arrests while a lone suspect died in a shootout with cops.

The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) conducted 209 operations, the highest in WV, but seized drugs only totalled P12.67 million.

The Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) mounted 38 operations that led to the confiscation of P1.368 million worth of drugs.

Others police offices did not reach the P1-million mark in terms of seized narcotics.

The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) conducted 53 operations and arrested 70 persons. But its total drug haul was only at P151,452.

Capiz PPO launched 21 operations and confiscated P535,650 worth of drugs; Aklan PPO, 25 operations with P446,206 worth of drugs seized; Antique PPO, 3 operations with P49,237 worth of illegal drugs confiscated.

Guimaras PPO mounted 4 operations and seized P6,516 worth of drugs.

Police Colonel Henry Biñas, Bacolod City police chief, said the high volume of seized drugs should not be misconstrued that supply in his area of responsibility has increased.

“In fact, there is scarce supply of illegal drugs,” Biñas said.

Barangays 2 and Banago, where illegal drugs used to abound, reported dramatic decrease in illegal drugs activities.

Biñas attributed the high volume of seizures to their relentless campaign against illegal drugs.

“I made it free-for-all. Meaning, other stations could operate at the turf of another police station provided they make proper coordination,” he said.

So far, it helped a lot since “all of these stations have delivered.”

Under the free-for-all scheme, drug dealers find it hard to ascertain which station is tailing them.

Currently, BCPO has 10 police stations, on top of the City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) and intelligence operatives running after drug dealers.

Police have also zeroed in on illegal drug suppliers in the city.

Right now, Biñas described the illegal drugs supply as “on and off.”