DAVAO CITY – An estimated 700 alleged drug dependents from Barangay Mt. Diwata in Monkayo, Compostela Valley have surrendered to the local government, an official said.
In a Philippine Information Agency dispatch, Barangay Chairman Pedro Samiliano of Barangay Mt. Diwata confirmed that some 700 residents from their village have turned themselves in to authorities.
Samiliano said illegal drug use in Mt. Diwata used to be rampant with about 20 puroks having a “shabu tiangge (market)”.
He said the residents, mostly small-scale miners, are able to buy the shabu after working in a tunnel.
“Kaya man nila paliton kay naa man silay kwarta. Sulod lang sila sa tunnel; paggawas, kwarta na. Palit og shabu, para power daw. (Because they can afford to buy. They just go mine the tunnel; they come out with money. Buy shabu so they will feel “powerful”),” Samiliano said.
Barangay Mt Diwata has been declared by the national government as a “small-scale mining area” within the 8,100-hectare Diwalwal Mineral Reservation Area (DMRA) known to be rich in gold ore.
During the Program Monitoring and Coordination Center National Task Force Diwalwal meeting in Davao City Tuesday, August 16 Police Senior Inspector Gomersendo Diwatam, the police supervising officer in Mt. Diwata, reported that the police seized more than 200 grams of shabu in the area valued at about P1 million within one month operation of the PNP.
He said the PNP arrested seven individuals involved in drug trade in Mt. Diwata and one died during police operation.
“Shabu there, used to sell like candies,” he said referring to Mt. Diwata. (davaotoday.com)