By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) will be keeping an eye on drug dealers who may be planning to sell marijuana or tap students as courier of illegal drugs as part of the security preparations for the nationwide opening of classes on Monday.
PNP spokesman Col. Bernard Banac said they are not discounting the possibility that drug dealers may take advantage of elementary pupils and high school students to go on with their illicit trade as the government has further intensified the campaign against them.
“These drug dealers may approach the students to sell drugs, especially marijuana because this marijuana can be easily be sold to them (students),” said Banac.
He said policemen will particularly intensify intelligence-gathering in running after sweet-talking drug peddlers who usually encourage students to try marijuana first before introducing shabu.
In past cases, drug dealers would also threaten students or offer them money to sell shabu or deliver drugs to buyers.
Banac said more than 120,000 policemen will be deployed across the country to assist in the class opening. Most of the cops would be tapped to man police assistance desks or help in traffic control.
Some of the policemen, he said, were tasked to maintain peace and order and take preemptive actions against street criminals who may prey on the students, particularly snatchers, robbers, bullies and even drug pushers.
“Our policemen were given instruction to pay attention to these as part of our security measures,” said Banac.
“We are ready for the class opening, everything is in place and the deployment and implementation of security measures will be constantly monitored for any adjustments,” he added.
Banac, however, urged the parents to protect their children from street criminals by refraining from giving their children gadgets and wear jewelry.
He said the presence of cellular phones or tablets only encourage street criminals to prey on the students.
Other police efforts are establishing task units to address bullying in schools, intelligence and information gathering against kidnappings in schools, presence of improvised explosive devices, and other efforts against threats as feared by the public.
So far, Banac said they have not received any serious threat but was quick to point out that the PNP are ready for any eventuality.