Friday, August 31, 2007

Jolo Governor Orders Crackdown On Drugs, Weapons

Jolo island Governor Sakur Tan gestures as he speaks to police chiefs during a meeting in southern Philippines. Governor Tan orders police to arrest all known drug pushers and suppliers in Jolo and for authorities to seize all illegal weapons on the island. (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service)

JOLO ISLAND, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 31 Aug) – Jolo island Governor Sakur Tan ordered Friday a massive crackdown on illegal drugs and has imposed a total gun ban in this southern Philippine island.

Tan met with the island’s 18 police chiefs in Jolo town and told them to step up the government’s anti-drug campaign and at the same time arrest owners of illegal weapons in an effort to stop the proliferation of unlicensed firearms on the island, about 950 kilometers south of Manila.

“We don’t want illegal drugs on the street and I have given orders to the police to arrest all those engaged in illegal drugs or those using these drugs. We also don’t want the proliferation of illegal weapons in this beautiful island,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.

Although drug use in taboo in this largely Muslims island, many young people are hooked in methamphetamine hydrochloride, popularly known as “ice,” and marijuana cigarettes.
Tan ordered the police to arrest those selling drugs. Most of the drugs come from nearby Zamboanga City.

He also ordered the dismantling of military checkpoints in Jolo and instead put flowers and other ornamentals that would beautify the island. The huge presence of armed soldiers around and checkpoints and roadblocks has made Jolo a virtual garrison.

Policemen were also told to be courteous and smile every time they speak to civilians, especially travelers or tourists. (Mindanao Examiner)

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