The Department of Education is asking the Philippine National Police for a meeting regarding the latter’s plan to conduct surprise inspections of student lockers as part of its anti-drug campaign.
In an interview on Super Radyo dzBB on Saturday, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said Education Secretary Leonor Briones had expressed concern regarding the PNP plan.
National Capital Region Police Office director Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar on Wednesday proposed to implement random bag and locker inspections in schools to nip the country’s drug problem in the bud.
“Briones wants to make sure we have coordination and protocols are in place,” Malaluan said.
“If there are law enforcement operations or initiatives that would, example, target students, we would like that to be properly coordinated with the Department of Education due to considerations such as child protection policy and schools as zones of peace,” Malaluan said.
Malaluan noted that for the school year opening last Monday, the DepEd and the PNP coordinated well, and he was confident this would continue for the drug prevention campaign.
In a related development:
• The military has intensified its support to law enforcement campaign against terrorism and illegal drugs, which both target young people, following the opening of academic year 2018.
This developed as 10 Abu Sayyaf bandits surrendered on Saturday to the 64th Infantry Battalion headquarters in TARBIDC Compound, Tumahubong, Simisip, Basilan, the Western Mindanao Command said.
Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, WestMinCom chief, said the group led by Abu Sayyaf sub-commander Bobong Mastul was compelled to lay down firearms following severe losses in the military’s intensified campaign against lawlessness.
At the frontline of the persuasive campaign is the 64th IB under Lt. Col. Philip Fagel, which formed part of Joint-Task Force Basilan, Dela Vega added.
Basilan Gov. Hajiman Salliman Hataman said Basileños were thankful for the military efforts in the surrender, which signalled assurances of a more peaceful season of schools reopening.
Hataman said locals had asserted that Bobong’s group had been enlightened by persistent community engagement by ulama (religious authorities) and other sectors on the teachings of Islam.
“It was also said that they finally decided to re-embrace Islam and ask forgiveness for all their wrong-doings upon [learning of the challenges posed by] the Armed Forces and by President Rodrigo Duterte himself,” said Dela Vega in a press statement.
Hataman also said much of the grievance had been addressed by the social and infrastructure programs of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, under his brother, ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman.
In a related development, elements of the 5th Special Forces Battalion here backed the ARMM field unit of the Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency in two operations that netted high-value targets that posed drugs menace in local schools.
Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, 6th Infantry Division commanding officer, told Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi that the military would continue its law enforcement support operations to the City Local Government Unit, and other government agencies to intensify the government’s campaign against terrorism and illegal drugs.
Arrested in PDEA’s drugs watchlist Thursday were Alton Sansawi Racman, 27, and Nasrolah Sambolawan Salipada, 33.
They were caught selling illegal drugs for P65,000 in marked money to an agent at a business establishment in Barangay Rosary Heights 10 in Cotabato City.
Seized from the suspects were two pieces of heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, weighing 25 grams and 50 grams, with a total street value of P510,000.
They were riding a red Honda XRM motorcycle when caught and frisked face-down in full-view of market-goers.
In a separate backup operation, two men found in possession of illegal drugs were also arrested in the evening of June 6 at a military checkpoint in Barangay Kanguan in Datu Piang, Maguindanao.
The arrested men were both residents of Datu Piang. Seized from them was a sachet of shabu.
The suspects are currently in the custody of Datu Piang Police Station.