Priest worries shabu price drop may hook more youth

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Fr. Fernando "Dodong" Pong

MANILA, August 3, 2015— A Catholic priest expressed concern over the reported drop in the price of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) in the country because of competition among Chinese, West African, and Mexican drug rings.

Wheelchair-bound priest Fr. Fernando “Dodong” Po of the Diocese of Tagbilaran said more young people may get hooked into the illegal substance as “it becomes very affordable.”

He even heard shabu is sold at Php 10 to Php 20 a sachet “by food peddlers just outside some schools.”

Po, a retired priest who lost his ability to walk after a blood transfusion in 2004, is the convenor of the Tindogi Tagbilaran, which is leading a drug awareness campaign in schools.

Anti-illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (Aidsotf) spokesperson Chief Inspector Roque Merdegia, Jr., earlier confirmed the presence of the West African and Mexican’s Senaloan drug syndicates drugs in the country.

The Chinese drug ring used to dictate high price, he said, but with the smuggling of shabu into the country, its price dropped.

Authorities intercept the contraband at airports and seaports, Merdegia said. However, it still penetrates the country’s porous shorelines.

The syndicates ship it illegally and unload it from vessels in the middle of the sea, he said. Contacts in destinations haul it ashore.

Shabu remains the number one choice among drug users in the country, Merdegia said. In 2012, about 1.3 million Filipinos used shabu.

Po and other concerned citizens in Bohol are set to conduct a full-scale drug awareness campaign in schools in the province this month. (Oliver Samson/CBCPNews)

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