Tacloban City — On Wednesday, August 2, the Philippine National Police (PNP) regional office reported that about 30% of 4,390 villages in Eastern Visayas are now drug-free.
PNP Regional Director Elmer Beltejar said that eliminating drugs has been their priority, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order.
“During my incumbency, Eastern Visayas has been peaceful. Village officials and even teachers can attest to the safety of their communities after the crackdown against illegal drugs,”
Beltejar assumed the post as regional director last July 3. He recalled their efforts on dismantling the Espinosa drug group last year , resulting in the arrest of drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, the son of slain Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
“Espinosa’s instrumentalities were captured; others surrendered while other unluckily died in operations. Almost every week, the PNP managed to neutralize emerging drug operators in the region,”
the Regional Director said.
He said that the Espinosa group was the one who controlled the illegal drug trade in Eastern Visayas in the previous years. The group was supplying 30 – 50 kilograms of shabu every month in Eastern Visayas and the nearby regions.
Beltejar also said that there are some people who are trying to build their strength hoping they can replace the Espinosas in the illegal drug trade in the region.
He added that the illegal drugs from Manila or Cebu are delivered through seaports, since Eastern Visayas is surrounded by waters.