The Bacolod City Police Office has finally formed a 20-man Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force to curtail the spread of illegal drugs especially in Barangays 1, 2 and 22, City Police Director Senior Supt. Celestino Guara said yesterday.
Guara said the task force will be headed by Chief Insp. Alexander Ermeo, with Chief Insp. Noel Polines as deputy commander.
The task force assignment is in addition to the present posts of Ermeo and Polines as chiefs of the Police Community Relations Office and Police Station 2, Guara said.
The task force has been directed to especially seal off Barangay 2, which is considered a drug haven, and arrest all persons involved in the illegal drug trade, he added.
Police Regional Office-6 Director, Chief Supt. Cepriano Querol, had earlier said that barangays 1, 2 and 22 in Bacolod City are considered seriously affected by illegal drugs with at least two percent of their population is engaged in either drug use or pushing.
More policemen, who are alleged illegal drug users, are under close surveillance by the City Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Group, an operative, who requested anonymity, told the DAILY STAR.
The operative, who did not identify the policemen, said they are not from the Bacolod City Police Office.
Aside from policemen, several jail guards of the Negros Occidental Provincial Jail are also being monitored, the source added.
Meanwhile, charges for violation of Section 15 of Republic Act 9165, for illegal drug use have been filed before the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office against Police Officer 1 Mark Pestolante, 32, of Brgy Daga, Cadiz City; Virgilio Tolones, 29, of Hacienda Minesota in La Castellana town; and Eduard Canlas, 27, of Purok Sigay in Brgy. 2, Bacolod.
The three, who have been found positive for shabu use, were arrested in a stake-out operation conducted by CAIDSTOG in the residence of Canlas Tuesday.
Lester Latoza, 25, of Purok Mahimulaton in Brgy. Banago, his neighbor Vicente Panonce, 32, and Rommel Ermeo, 34, of Brgy. Singcang-Airport, who were arrested along with Pestolante, Tolones and Canlas, meanwhile, were found negative for illegal drug use but were charged for visiting a drug den.*APN