A day before President-elect Rodrigo Duterte assumes office, about 4,000 illegal drug users voluntarily surrendered at the Police Regional Office (PRO) 12 in Mindanao.
The Philippine National Police said this reflects their intensified campaign against banned substances which Duterte has been pushing for, GMA News reported.
PRO 12 Officer Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr. shared that more than half of those who surrendered were from South Cotabato. He also mentioned the following breakdown for other surrenderees:
South Cotabato – 2,490
Sultan Kudarat – 1,342
Central Mindanao – 114
North Cotabato – 12
Galgo also said the PRO 12 will help these individuals get government support for proper treatment and rehabilitation.
“We will provide them the necessary assistance to ensure their proper reintegration to our communities,” he told MindaNews.
However, authorities are facing a challenge in terms of accommodating the suspects, due to limited rehabilitation centers in the area.
Quezon City is also experiencing the same dilemma after 700 drug users recently turned themselves in to the city’s local government.
The sudden spike in surrendering drug users is largely credited to the “Duterte effect,” which makes suspects fear for their lives if they continue with their illegal activities.
Duterte himself has reiterated that his presidency will be a bloody one, especially for those involved in the illegal drug trade.
Cover photo via Philstar