PDEA warns against selling illegal drugs online

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Soccsksargen (Region 12) has advised the public to immediately report those who sell illegal drugs online through social media or Facebook and alerted parents to the possible purchase of substances prohibited by their children.

Over the weekend, PDEA 12 regional director Naravy Duquiatan said illegal drug peddlers were using social media as a major channel for the distribution of contraband.

“Despite the 2019 coronavirus disease pandemic (Covid-19), drug traffickers still continue their illegal activities in central Mindanao,” Duquiatan added.

She said they were tracking the movements of traffickers, who Duquiatan said are using “high technology” to carry out their illicit trade.

“Despite their advancement, we have arrested some of their couriers in various parts of region 12,” she said.

Central Mindanao or region 12 (Soccsksargen) includes South Cotabato, Cotabato, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City.

Drug dealers typically sell marijuana and shabu, which they deliver to customers through courier services, Duquiatan said.

According to her, they “educate” these courier services on the modus operandi of the traffickers.

Duquiatan admitted that the drug traffickers’ high-tech strategy is a challenge for PDEA region 12, but that they are doing their best to stop the illegal trade.

Among those joining forces in the war on drugs in the region are the PDEA, the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Customs Bureau.

Duquiatan said they carried out a total of 201 drug operations and seized a total of 5.47 million pesos of illegal drugs.

Operations from January to February 2021, she added, identified 215 drug suspects.

They led to the declaration of 940 of the 1,158 barangay (villages) of central Mindanao as “drug free” for the first two months of the year.

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