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Is Ormoc EV’s “drug capital”?

ORMOC CITY – Hon. Antonio “Bebot” Villar Jr., (not Bobbit as reported in the hard copy) chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board, in his opinion column at the Journal Online on April 13, 2015 says he has received a report that this city could be the “drug capital” of Eastern Visayas.

Titled “Is Ormoc City Now The Drug Capital of Eastern Visayas”, the DDB chairman said that “In a report submitted to my office by Asec. Amador Pabustan … Ormoc City is now allegedly the illegal drugs’ capital of Region 8. So excessive is the supply that it now supplies the needs of the entire Region 8.”

Hon. Villar adds that “So audacious are the drug distributors that illegal drugs are now allegedly available in every Barangay and peddled in the open. Informatively, from time to time, raids are conducted by law enforcement authorities. However, nothing allegedly comes out of these raids. These raids have not made a dent in the flourishing illegal drugs’ trade. What gives?”

He also observes that “The drug syndicate in the area would not be so bold and daring in its operation if it has no backing from powerful personalities …. It would not have grown roots if the drug syndicate has no powerful padrinos in its payroll.”

The DDB chairman’s column also hints that he is well apprised of the operations of the drug syndicate here. He mentions Brgy. Tambulilid, where three people (not four, as he wrote) were killed in a shootout between the police authorities and “two hired goons of a drug distributor known by his alias as Sinbad.”

“Sinbad”, he said, “is one of the feared henchmen of a certain Espinosa, the alleged leader of the drug syndicate. Information has it, that Sinbad has taken a rest and is cooling his heels out of Region 8. However, his alleged right hand man, “Nokie”, has taken over the operations.”

Meanwhile, he added, “Espinosa is said to be entertaining the idea of running for a local elective post in the coming 2016 elections. With drug money, he has a very strong chance of winning, as we are all well aware that in Philippine politics, money plays a most vital role in elections. In fact, it spells the difference between victory and defeat.”

Villar also lauds the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. “Unlike its US counterpart which has practically  unlimited resources, with a multi-billion dollar funding, yet has not succeeded in wiping out the drug cartels, our PDEA’s resources pale in comparison. It’s not even a drop in the bucket. However, despite being undermanned and underfunded, our PDEA has never wavered in the continuing pursuit of its mission of combating illegal drugs.”

The DDB chairman also suggests that “The PDEA must enlist the assistance of the NBI and the AIDSOFT in running after the Ormoc City illegal drugs’ syndicate … There must be no sacred cows in our war against illegal drugs. Coddlers and protectors, regardless of their political affiliations and positions must be brought before the bar of justice.”

Meanwhile, sources at the PDEA said Villar’s column has long been an “open secret.” By Lalaine M. Jimenea

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