Big-time drug lords using child couriers

By Dexter A. See

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet — Police and anti-narcotics operatives here have intensified operations against big-time drug syndicates which are using minors as pushers and couriers.

The campaign against drug syndicates came after the arrest of a 17-year-old boy from Cavite who was found in possession of “shabu” worth at least P140,000.

Last week, agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Cordillera arrested the boy from Cavite after he tried to sell 10 grams of “shabu” during a “buy-bust” operation in front of the Quezon Elementary School here.

Chief Supt. Eugene G. Martin, director of the Police Regional Office in the Cordillera, said there is an urgent need to step up the joint police-PDEA operations against big-time drug syndicates operating in this city to spare the youth from the ill-effects of drugs.

Investigators said the arrested minor delivered “shabu” of various weights in the city at least three times.

The minor is believed to be a member of a big-time drug syndicate which is based in Dasmariñas, Cavite and which is involved in large-scale distribution and sale of shabu in Luzon.

Earlier, two women, also from Dasmarinas, were apprehended in this city for possession of shabu worth P165,000 in an entrapment operation conducted by PDEA agents and policemen.

At present, PDEA and police assets are tracking down the main source of the illegal drugs.

Martin said use of minors as couriers of illegal drugs by syndicates taking advantage of the leniency of the law on young offenders was alarming.

He said under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2000 in relation to Republic Act 9344 and the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, youth offenders, aged 15 years old and below, are not criminally liable, while those 16 and 17 years old can be charged only upon proof of their discernment of the act upon assessment by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Under the same law, the use of minors as runners, couriers, and messengers, or in any other capacity directly connected to the dangerous drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, is an aggravating circumstance in drugs cases.

From January to August, this year, PDEA and other law-enforcement agencies in the region arrested six minors for drug-related crimes.

Martin said that collective efforts must be exerted to put a stop to the use of minors as couriers and pushers because it is jeopardizing the future of the youth. (NorthernPhilippineTimes)

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