Buy-bust operation in Las Piñas City results two fatalities and over P200 million worth of suspected illegal substance seized

Following the anti-drug operations it pulled off in the cities of Parañaque and Pasay, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and its strategic partners scored another one with its buy-bust operation in the city of Las Piñas where they seized 31 kilograms of the suspected illegal substance referred to as shabu which was estimated to be worth P210 million. The same operation also resulted the deaths of two men.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the report published through Philippine News Agency (PNA)…

PNP Chief General Debold Sinas facing the media at the scene of the crime. (source – Philippine National Police Facebook page)

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Debold Sinas, on Wednesday identified the slain suspects as Jen Jieko Amarga, alias Koy-koy and Coco Amarga, and Andrew Garcia.

Citing a report from the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG), Sinas said the two were known distributors of illegal drugs in Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon and were connected to drug syndicates operating in the country.

“Their source of illegal drugs came from a certain Chinese national from the country of Myanmar and being discreetly transported to a warehouse somewhere in Pampanga,” he said.

The operation, conducted by police officers and agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), started at about 10 p.m. along Sherack St. in Barangay Almanza Uno after a poseur buyer was able to convince the suspects to sell a kilogram of shabu worth PHP6.8 million.

Sinas said after the exchange of the shabu and the buy-bust money, the policemen declared that the suspects were being arrested.

“Nakipagbarilan sila, so namatay yung dalawang suspects (They shot it out with our personnel so they got killed),” he said.

The PDEG is conducting follow-up operations to find the suspects’ cohorts.

It is notable in the above news report that the illegal substance came from Myanmar handled by a still unidentified Chinese national. How it got smuggled all the way from Myanmar to Pampanga has yet to be explained. As for the two men who died and were alleged to be experienced distributors, it remains to be seen how their demise will impact the local drugs problem for at least the short term.

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COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City starts vaccinating seniors with Sinovac, completes inoculation of healthcare workers

Following the approval of the Food and Drugs and Administration on the vaccination of senior citizens with Sinovac, the City Government of Muntinlupa officially started its roll-out among seniors yesterday.

The Muntinlupa City Health Office announced the roll-out of CoronoVac (Sinovac) among senior citizens starting April 12 in 14 initial vaccine centers in the city.

A senior citizen gets vaccinated with Sinovac. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Vaccination sites in Muntinlupa for A2 members (senior citizens) include Tunasan Elementary School (ES), Victoria ES, Muntinlupa National High School – Annex, Muntinlupa National HS Main, Poblacion ES (SV3), Putatan ES, Soldiers Hills ES, Lakeview Integrated School, Bayanan ES Main, Pedro E. Diaz HS, Cupang ES, Cupang Health Center, Buli ES, and Sucat Covered Court. The City Government targets to inoculate at least 44,000 senior citizens in Muntinlupa.

As of April 10, Muntinlupa CHO has received 20,317 COVID-19 vaccines from the national government, of which 20,063 are Sinovac and 254 are AstraZeneca. There are only remaining 13,964 vials, of which 13,921 are Sinovac and 43 are AstraZeneca.

Further, the vaccination of healthcare workers from A1 priority group was completed with 5,123 (100%) medical frontliners who were inoculated, of which 2,145 received Sinovac and 2,978 were vaccinated with AstraZeneca. While 4,189 (77.6%) individuals received the vaccine from A3 priority group (persons with comorbidities), of which 4,100 were given Sinovac and 89 received AstraZeneca.

Recently, Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi received his first jab of COVID-19 vaccine after President Rodrigo Duterte allowed the inoculation of mayors in “high risk” cities and towns.

Fresnedi, who is also a senior citizen at 70 y/o, has been vaccinated with the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine together with other healthcare workers and persons with comorbidities from priority groups last April 8.

The local exec urges fellow senior citizens and qualified residents who are members of the priority groups to avail the vaccination services of the government for them to have an added protection against the adverse effects of COVID-19.

He also encouraged the public to pre-register in the city’s COVID-19 vaccination registration through www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac and to still strictly observe health protocols such as frequent hand-washing, wearing of face masks and face shields, and physical distancing.

Further, Muntinlupa City started distributing the emergency subsidy from the national government to families affected by the enhanced community quarantine in NCR Plus. As of April 12, Muntinlupa City has 8,930 confirmed cases with 6,938 recoveries, 1,757 active cases, 235 reported deaths, 216 suspect cases, and 771 probable cases.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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Muntinlupa and DOH-TRC Bicutan sign partnership for drug rehabilitation of indigent residents

The City Government of Muntinlupa partners with the Department of Health – Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DOH-TRC) in Bicutan to subsidize the treatment and rehabilitation of indigent drug-dependent residents in the city. Under the agreement, Muntinlupa LGU will be financing the seven-month treatment and aftercare program of first time patients and indigent drug-dependent residents of the city. Shown in the photo: (L-R) City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela, DOH-TRC Financial and Management Officer Esteban Dino, DOH-TRC execs led by Chief of Hospital Dr. Alfonso Villaroman, Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, Vice Mayor Artemio Simundac, Coun. Francis Bagatsing, and DAPCO chief PSSUPT Florocito Ragudo (Ret.). (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

In response to the campaign of the National Government against substance abuse, the City Government of Muntinlupa formally partnered with the Department of Health – Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DOH-TRC) in Bicutan to subsidize the treatment and rehabilitation of indigent drug-dependent residents in the city.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi signed a memorandum of agreement with DOH-TRC execs led by Chief of Hospital Dr. Alfonso Villaroman and other local officials recently at Plaza Central, Poblacion, Muntinlupa City.

Fresnedi hopes that the financial assistance from the City Government will encourage indigent drug dependents in Muntinlupa to seek medical help in resolving the adverse effects of illegal drugs.

Under the agreement, Muntinlupa LGU will be financing the seven-month treatment of first-time patients and indigent drug-dependent residents of Muntinlupa amounting to P26,250.00 per beneficiary.

The City Government shall also shoulder the expenses for the following services: laboratory services (P820.00), drug dependency examination prior to admission and prior to discharge (P1,000.00), and three months Intensive Aftercare Program (P5,400.00). Further, Muntinlupa Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Office (DAPCO) will facilitate the continuation of the aftercare program for beneficiaries following their admission to DOH-TRC Bicutan.

The local aftercare and reintegration program (Mamamayan at Pamilya Laban sa Droga – MAPALAD) consists of livelihood trainings, job placement initiatives, and continuation education in partnership with the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa and Muntinlupa City Technical Institute.

DAPCO targets to cater to at least 150 beneficiaries. Admission of patients to DOH-TRC Bicutan will begin on the second week of January 2021. Interested residents should coordinate with their Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) for assessment to avail the subsidy from the local government.

Other officials attending the MOA signing ceremony were DOH-TRC Financial and Management Officer Esteban Dino, Muntinlupa Vice Mayor Artemio Simundac, City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela, Coun. Francis Bagatsing, and DAPCO chief PSSUPT Florocito Ragudo (Ret.).

Recently, the City Government of Muntinlupa also entered a partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the University Research Company for the implementation of USAID RenewHealth project that aims to strengthen the city’s community-based drug rehabilitation program.

USAID RenewHealth Project seeks to address drug dependency problem by expanding access to evidence-based and culturally-appropriate community-based drug treatment and recovery (CBDR) services.

For more information, the public may coordinate with the Muntinlupa Drug Abuse and Prevention Control Office located Muntinlupa City Hall, G/F Main Building, Putatan with telephone no. 8403-6689 / 8862-2525 loc. 212.

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Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release. Some parts were edited for this website.

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Muntinlupa City Signs Agreement with USAID and URC for Local Drug Rehabilitation Program

Muntinlupa City Signs Agreement with USAID and URC for Local Drug Rehabilitation Program

02062020
The City Government of Muntinlupa inks partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for the implementation of USAID RenewHealth project, a community-based drug rehabilitation program. Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (3rd from left) signed a memorandum of agreement with USAID RenewHealth Project chief of Party Dr. Gina Hechanova (2nd from left), DCOP Dr. Ivanhoe Escartin (left), and Muntinlupa Drug Abuse and Prevention Control Office last February 3 at Muntinlupa City Hall to officially begin the program for persons who use drugs (PWUDs). USAID RenewHealth Project seeks to address drug dependency problem by expanding access to evidence-based and culturally-appropriate community-based drug treatment and recovery (CBDR) services. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

The City Government of Muntinlupa sealed its partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the University Research Company (URC) for the implementation of USAID RenewHealth project that aims to strengthen the city’s community-based drug rehabilitation program.

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi signed the memorandum of agreement with USAID RenewHealth Project chief of Party Dr. Gina Hechanova and DCOP Dr. Ivanhoe Escartin on Monday at Muntinlupa City Hall on February 3 to officially begin the program for persons who use drugs (PWUDs).

Fresnedi extended his gratitude to USAID for selecting the City of Muntinlupa as one of the Pilot Areas in NCR for the drug rehabilitation project. The local exec said the USAID’s assistance will significantly contribute to the success of the City Government’s drug abuse prevention initiatives.

USAID RenewHealth Project seeks to address drug dependency problem by expanding access to evidence-based and culturally-appropriate community-based drug treatment and recovery (CBDR) services.

For its part, USAID shall provide technical assistance to the City Government personnel in ensuring local CBDR strategies are aligned to service standards provided by the Dangerous Drug Board and other regulations prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH)  and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Barangay workers who serve as coach community facilitators will also be given training for screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment services, including CBDR, and CBDR governance.

USAID RenewHealth project supports the Philippine Anti-illegal Drugs Strategy that calls for a comprehensive and balanced approach to drug supply and demand reduction. It also builds on the Philippine Mental Health law that recognized substance dependence as a mental health issue.

The City Government of Muntinlupa continues to collaborate with various organization to strengthen the local recovery program for drug surrenderees under the Mamamayan at Pamilya Laban sa Droga (MAPALAD), the local community-based response strategy against drug abuse.

Interested parties are free to visit Muntinlupa Drug Abuse and Prevention Control Office located Muntinlupa City Hall, G/F Main Building, Putatan or contact them at telephone no. 8403-6689 / 8862-2525 loc. 212.

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Official Press Release issued by the City Government of Muntinlupa – Public Information Office.