The Metro Manila police on Thursday urged education officials to reconsider its proposal to inspect the lockers and bags of students for narcotics, after 12 underage students were arrested in a row of drug dens in Navotas.
Authorities raided the drug dens at the Navotas Fish Port after a month of surveillance revealed that some youngsters sell and use shabu there. The 12 minors rounded up during the raid were all students.
Director Guillermo Eleazar, director of the National Capital Region Police Office, said the fight against narcotics will not succeed if more children are involved in the drug trade.
"Hindi po mauubos ang trabaho namin, huli kami nang huli e ang dami namang nare-recruit, iyung mga bata," he told radio DZMM.
(Our job will not be finished if we just keep on arresting suspects while children are recruited.)
"D'yan nagsisimula sa eskuwelahan itong ibang involvement sa droga. Kung nakakapag-inspect nga tayo sa loob ng mga malls, bakit hindi sa eskuwelahan?" he added.
(Involvement in drugs could start in the school. If we can inspect belongings at malls, why not in schools?)
It will be entirely up to school officials and parents to plan the inspection, carry it out and provide counseling to students whose belongings will yield drugs, he said.
Police will follow leads on drug suppliers if tapped to by school authorities, Eleazar said.
The NCRPO first floated the idea of inspecting schoolchildren's belongings in June last year.
DZMM, 17 January 2019