Merely two days before President-elect Rodrigo Duterte takes oath in Malacañang, more than 3,000 self-confessed drug pushers and users in South Cotobato and Sultan Kudarat have already surrendered. This includes the 1,000 drug suspects who surrendered last week, as there are also those from Sarangani and General Santos City.
According to the Philippine National Police (PNP), there are now a total of 3,146 individuals who voluntarily surrendered to various police stations in South Cotobato. Some 2,000 drug suspects in Sultan Kudarat promised to change for good in front of incoming Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mike Sueno.
South Cotabato Provincial Police Office (SCPPO) information officer C/Insp Conrado Jovero said that the figure is not yet final. According to him, the data is still being consolidated, and that people still continue to arrive. As of posting, PNP’s ‘Operation Bato’ continues to call on drug suspects to surrender and help eliminate illegal drugs.
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And just like those who earlier surrendered in Quezon City, these self-confessed drug pushers and users said they surrendered because they are hearing news about alleged liquidation of drug suspects in various areas in the country. Nevertheless, surrendees are not being sent to prison, as long as they reveal their sources and undergo rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, authorities said they are now coordinating with various government agencies such as Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for their livelihood. On the other hand, qualified applicants can study for free via the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education DepEd).
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Interestingly, this massive and record-breaking figure of surrendees is a first-time in Philippine history. Reports also say that selling of illegal drugs have been greatly reduced and prices are getting higher. As we all know, Duterte is very firm with his campaign in fighting corruption in government, illegal drugs and crime in the entire country.
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