OFFICIALS of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency yesterday renewed their calls for the public to report barangay officials in their areas who are directly or indirectly involved in illegal drug activities since their continued presence will have a major impact in the ongoing war on drugs.
PNP chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa and PDEA Director General Isidro S. Lapeña assured that the identities of informants would be kept in utmost secrecy. The two top officials also said that there is a major feedback mechanism that would ensure that all information being relayed to the two agencies are being acted upon by lower units.
The call was made in the wake of the arrest of chairman Jonathan Castillo Manalo in Mindoro Oriental during a buy-bust operation last April 20. Manalo was among the barangay officials placed under strict monitoring by the police amid President Duterte’s word he will not allow drug-tainted personalities to be elected as chairman of any of the country’s over 42,000 barangays.
Lapeña has outlined the guidelines in the implementation of barangay drug-clearing program to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs in communities and promote involvement of local barangays in the suppression of drug trafficking and abuse across the country.
He explained that barangays, as the first line of defense, should be tapped as force multipliers of the national anti-drug campaign at the grassroots level.
Among the general guidelines provided in the drug-clearing program are the mandatory creation of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs) nationwide; the conduct of barangay drug-clearing operations which is divided into three phases, namely the Pre-Operation Phase, Operation Phase and Post-Operation Phase; the classification of barangays in determining the priority areas for clearing operations; the duties of local chief executives in the barangay drug-clearing program; and the penalty for non-compliance.
“BADACs are the most formidable anti-drug task forces that can be created because of their influence on local residents and can relate to the needs of their constituents,” Lapeña explained.
“The Operation Phase is the actual implementation of drug supply and demand reduction strategies in drug-affected areas. This is where PDEA and other support agencies come into play,” he added.
The Post-Operation Phase is aimed to maintain the ‘Drug-Cleared’ status of the barangays after drug-clearing operations through sustainable support projects such as sports, religious and social activities, implement sustainable livelihood projects as a reintegration program to former users and pushers, and continuing anti-drug awareness programs.