No need for lease control
CEBU, Philippines — Two officials do not see the need to pass legislation to regulate apartments in Cebu as a way to help address the problem of illegal drug proliferation.
Instead of passing an ordinance, Cebu City Councilor David Tumulak believes that the fight against illegal drugs can be strengthened with apartment owners being more vigilant with their tenants.
“It’s high time nga ang nanag-iya sa mga balay, motabang og monitor sa nag-abang. Naa man sila’y contracts. Kon naay something unusual, mga lalake, kadudahan, dali ra man na ma detect pero kuwang og kaisog ang mga tag-iya nga mo report to the police,” Tumulak said.
The idea to regulate apartments came after authorities confiscated P41.8 million from four men arrested at an apartment on Urgello Street, Cebu City on November 30.
For Tumulak, the deputy mayor for police matters, regulating apartments with corresponding penalties is anti-poor.
“It takes time. Unsa man pod ang penalty? Kon dunay ordinance man gud, kon dunay masakpan, it’s an ordinance, naay penalty nga P5,000. Walay criminal liability… For me, it’s anti-poor,” he said.
A better alternative, he said, is for apartment owners, barangay officials, and the community in general to be more vigilant and report suspicious individuals immediately.
He also urged all barangay anti-drug abuse councils and the tanods to conduct random patrol.
“Instead of passing an ordinance, barangays nalang mo-regulate, tag-iya sa balay, ug ang community to be more vigilant sa ilang surrounding,” Tumulak said.
Board Member Sun Shimura, chair of the Provincial Public Safety, Peace and Order, also does not see the need to legislate because the situation in the province is different from Cebu City as far as apartments are concerned.
“For me, when we are talking about the province, ang mga apartment man gud are being used kung naay manrabaho ani nga lungsod gikan sa laing lungsod. Gamay ra na sila, unlike diri sa city nga dagko gyud unya pwede gamiton sa lain nga butang nga binuang,” he said.
Still, like Tumulak, he urged landlords to report suspicious movements of their tenants.
“Para nako, there’s no need of pushing this as an ordinance sa provincial level kay unlike the highly urbanized cities nga dagko gyud. Sa probinsya pud, naa ni sa mga places nga sudlonon bitaw kaayo, kanang mga apartments nga gagmay. Maybe what we can do is pass a resolution requesting landlords nga apartment owners nga mag-matngon. Pwede na nila mamonitor if naay something fishy,” he added.
Vice Governor Agnes Magpale echoes Shimura’s sentiments.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-7 has recommended subjecting the drugs in the November 30 operation to analysis to know if it has the same contents as the shabu found in magnetic lifters in Manila.
This, following belief that the recent haul was part of the drug sham that rocked the Bureau of Customs, as the magnetic lifters containing drugs were able to pass through security despite red flags from intelligence reports.
“Kahibalo ka if we are just talking kato mga three kilos, all pinpointing didto. We have reason to believe but we do not have evidences, ours though are just presumption and analysis,” Police Regional Office in Central Visayas director, Chief Superintendent Debold Sinas said in an ambush interview yesterday.
PDEA-7 Director Wardley Getalla echoed his suspicions since report from their national office reportedly says drugs from magnetic lifters have reached to distant places.
And knowing that Central Visayas is located at a strategic point for shipment and other mode of transportation, it is logical to believe that some of the drugs have reached the region, said Getalla.
“Hindi natin madi-discount yun kasi alam naman natin na ang Central Visayas napakaganda ng puwesto. Sa report ng aming national office marami na din ang naratngan nitong shabu from magnetic lifters with that we are requesting qualitative and quantitative analysis sa naseized na shabu para malaman ang original na drugs,” Getalla said.
But Getalla said it might be difficult to retrieve the drugs for analysis owing to legal procedures that need to be followed.
“Irerekomenda ko yan kaso lang may mga legal procedures yan. Kung papayag ang court dito sa pagpapalabas ng ebidensya. Titingnan natin yan, kasi hindi ganuon kadali ang paglabas ng ebidensya na na-seized na. Ang PDEA national laboratory may capability pero titingnan natin kasi ongoing na custodial investigation at hindi na ganun kadali ang magpull-out ng drug evidence,” he said. — With Lorraine Mitzi A. Ambrad and Mae Clydyl L. Avila (FREEMAN)