ALABEL, Sarangani - Hours before President-elect Rodrigo Duterte assumes the presidency, almost a hundred drug suspects surfaced in the barangay hall of barangay Poblacion to surrender. Most of the drug suspects say they want to surrender after their names were placed on a drug watchlist.
"May nakapagsabi kasi sa akin, sir, na nasa listahan daw ako. Nag-surrender ako, sir, kasi ayaw kong mabaril na lang ako diyan habang naglalakad ako," said a 22-year-old drug suspect.
Most of those who surrendered are methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu users.
Police Senior Inspector Marcelo Mendoza said the drug watchlist did not come from the Philippine National Police but the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council.
"Sila talaga ang totoong may listahan kasi sila ang nakakaalam. Sila yong nasa area kaya kilala nila kung sinu-sino itong mga involve sa drugs sa kanilang barangay," he said.
Barangay Chairman Noel Morido, Sr. said there was very little effort to convince the drug suspects to surrender.
"Ito na lang yong chance nila kaya sumuko sila. Bigyan natin sila ng pagkakataon na makapagbago. At sinusuportahan natin ang ating pangulo na linisin ang mga barangay natin sa bansa," he said.
In Sarangani, there are almost 500 drug suspects who surrendered to the authorities. According to authorities, all those who surrender will undergo drug symposium before they will be recommended for technical training and benefit from any livelihood assistance.