Dela Cruz_

Commodore Joselito Dela Cruz of the Philippine Coast Guard in Southeastern Mindanao.(Paulo C. Rizal/

DAVAO CITY— The  Philippine Coast Guard here would implement more efforts to guard the coastal areas and ports surrounding Davao City from illegal drug-related activities. The PCG would also keep a special watch on Chinese vessels in ports.

Commodore Joselito Dela Cruz of PCG Southeastern Mindanao said that they are just waiting for the cue from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to start the anti-drug campaign inspection in all the vessels, especially Chinese vessels which are coming in and out of Davao region ports.

He clarified that they are not trying to “single-out” the Chinese vessels, but they “only based it from statistical data that involves Chinese in drugs.”

Dela Cruz said that there are approximately five Chinese vessels per month in Davao ports that focuses on trading goods in Davao.

“These Chinese vessels in Surigao, about mining, naglo-load sila ng mga lupa. Meron nito sa Mati, Surigao del Sur (These Chinese vessels in Surigao, particularly those involving mining, are loading soils in their vessels. These companies can be seen in Mati and Surigao del Sur),” he said.

Dela Cruz said that the vessel inspection is usually on the maritime safety of the vessel and not anti-drug campaign inspections.

“We will go further (anti-drug campaign inspection), we are not saying that those foreign vessels are engaged in illegal drugs, just to impressed upon them that we are serious in our campaign,” Dela Cruz said.

He said that “in tandem with PDEA” they will inspect the vessels that will enter the port of Davao.

He added that not most of the time PDEA will accompany them during the inspection. He said that they are only allowed to inspect smaller watercraft. He said if foreign vessels has “a good intelligence report” PDEA can board the vessels.

“In Daliao fish port, there are foreign fishing boats who come and go there so they are subject for inspection as well,” he said.

As part of their support on anti-drug campaign, Dela Cruz said that the PCG Davao has now a 35-meter vessel presently positioned in Sta. Ana pier and two dogs in antinarcotics inspection that will be come during inspections.

The 35-meter vessel also serves as venue for Executive and Cabinet meeting that will happen soon in the Department of Public Works and Highways compound, also called the Malacañang of the South, in Panacan.

“They will lay anchor at the back of the Malacañang of the South since it’s already coastal area there so we have to secure the area,” he said.

As of now, Dela Cruz said that there are frequent sea port patrols checking the back area of Malacañang of the south,

PCG Davao will cover the Sasa port, Sta Ana pier and the international port located in Panabo and Tagum City.

Meanwhile, as part of the marching order, Dela Cruz said that “we will also subject all of my personnel in drug testing here in Southern Mindanao.”

Dela Cruz said that it will be a surprise drug testing for his “almost 400 personnel”.(

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