The Philippine National Police in Negros Oriental has denied reports that it is maintaining an “order of battle” against suspected drug pushers and drug users in the province.
Provincial police director, Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas, issued the statement yesterday to clarify that the term “order of battle” is not being used by the PNP as it has a negative connotation.
Lawas’s statement comes on the heels of a media report that said that during a recent meeting with the Negros Oriental Drug Abuse and Prevention Council it was mentioned that a seminar for police personnel was in the offing to “update the order of battle” of the PNP, and monitor individuals and groups involved in drug trafficking.
Lawas said the PNP instead has a watchlist and target list of drug personalities.
A target list consists of names of identified individuals and groups who are reported, already verified, validated and confirmed to be involved in illegal activities. The same personalities are subject for police operations, Lawas said.
Meanwhile, a watchlist contains the names of identified individuals who are reportedly involved in the illegal drug trade but are still subject for verification and validation.
Lawas also denied having bared the names of suspected drug personalities during the NORDAPC meeting.
He said he only revealed the total number of individuals believed to be engaged in the trafficking of illegal drugs, but it is standard operating procedure not to disclose the names of these people as they are still considered suspects.
Lawas had disclosed in the NORDAPC meeting that they are validating 245 identified suspected drug personalities in Negros Oriental. Of the number, 129 are suspected drug pushers while 116 are believed to be illegal drug users.
Dumaguete, the capital city of Negros Oriental, tops the list of areas having the most number of suspected drug personalities, followed by Tanjay City and the municipality of Bacong, Lawas added.*JFP
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