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PNP chief confers Medalya ng Kagalingan to anti-illegal drugs task force members

SAN FERNANDO CITY -The chief of the Philippine National Police conferred the Medalya ng Kagalingan to the members of the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (RAIDSOTG) in a ceremony held at the police regional office 1 here recently.

The members of the RAIDSOTG headed by Police Chief inspector June S. Galingan were recognized for their successful raid of 58 marijuana plantations in the tri-boundary of Ilocos Sur, La Union and Benguet

Certificates of Appreciation were also awarded to Santol, La Union Mayor Daisy S. Olivar and Reverend Father Roland Nabua of Saint Jude Parish for their support in the campaign against illegal drugs.

The awarding coincided with the first command visit of PNP Chief Police Director General Raul M. Bacalzo in PRO1 on February 18.

The ceremony was attended by Senior Undersecretary Jose Gutierrez, Jr., Director General of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA); Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz, Jr., head of the PNP Public Information Office; regional chiefs of government agencies; local government officials; military commanders in the area; PRO1 key officers; and various civilian partners and stakeholders.

Bacalzo expressed his gratitude to the stakeholders for being steadfast partners of PRO1 even as he emphasized the importance of police-community partnership, particularly the need for unity and solidarity in crime prevention.

“Going back to the basics is what we should do.  We should focus on the basic virtues of courtesy and discipline, and of good manners and right conduct, to attain the respect of the community and stakeholders,” Bacalzo said.

The PNP chief also stressed the need to train and re-train police personnel in basic policing skills, especially those assigned in police stations who are the frontliners in law enforcement.

Bacalzo later led the ceremonial burning of P323 million worth of marijuana plants uprooted  in a 5-day operation along the tri-boundary of Sugpon, Ilocos Sur; Kibungan, Benguet; and Santol, La Union.

The operation, dubbed Oplan Farmville III, resulted in the  uprooting of 1.3 million fully grown marijuana plants and more or less 800,000 seedlings from 58 plantation sites with an estimated land area of 43,000 square meters.

The anti-drugs operatives also confiscated 18,000 grams of dried marijuana stalks, 800 grams of marijuana seeds and 60 bricks of dried marijuana.

Two marijuana cultivators, identified as Alfredo Akdang of Kibungan, Benguet and Daniel Manuel of Sugpon, Ilocos Sur, were arrested and charged with violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.#