MAGANES: Where are the Anti-Drug Abuse Councils?

July 23, 2016 at 7:17 pm Leave a comment

In 1998 during the administration of former President Joseph Estrada, then Interior and Local Government Secretary Jose “Joey” Lina issued a memorandum order creating the anti-drug abuse councils in all levels of the local government units- provincial, municipal/city and barangays (villages), as the arms in combatting the proliferation of illegal drugs.
The Councils have governors, mayors and barangay chairmen (village heads) together with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Sangguniang Bayan/Panlungsod, Sangguniang Barangay with civic and religious organizations and the education sector as members.
During the watch of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the anti-drug abuse councils were re-structured by then Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno by issuing a memorandum circular expanding the composition of the anti- drug abuse councils particularly in the composition of Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADAC) following the approval of the Comprehensive Dagerous Drugs Act of 2002 . The councils particularly BADACs were ordered to be activated and convened and to give reports to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on the extent of illegal drug activities in their areas of responsibility. In like manner, Philippine National Police(PNP) stations or offices in provinces and municipalities were ordered to coordinate with the local anti-drug abuse councils.
The illegal drug trades have been proliferating for decades. The illegal trades have reached the remotest villages in the country right under the noses of the anti-drug abuse councils, PNP officers particularly BADAC. Why was it that there were no actions and reports on the extent of illegal drug operations in the country? If there were, reports were not followed up or to say the least been put into bins and forgotten for so long a time. BADACS that are supposed to be in the front lines of of combatting the drug menace remained as councils on papers for compliance of DILG directives. There were no concrete anti-drug abuse plans, no operational activities and the worst no meetings among the members of the councils were held.
It took almost 12 years to have a full grown anti-drug abuse councils at the local government units or LGUs. When President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte rose to presidency, anti-drug abuse councils particularly BADACs were re-activated. They are now on the front lines working for the surrenders of known drug personalities in their barangays. This is quite surprising and disturbing. Surprising in the sense that the village officials for many years have been hiding the names of drug pushers and users in their turfs and disturbing because they might have protected these drug personalities.
Let’s take a look in Pangasinan.
Before the May 9, 2016 elections, then Provincial Liga ng Barangay President Amado I. Espino III launched a province wide call for anti-drug abuse.  There were many meetings and consultations conducted among village officials in the province. There were tarpaulins signed for commitments to pursue the war against the illegal drugs. During Espino’s tenure as Liga ng Barangay President, in my personal observations, there were no concrete plans as to how the drugs menace in villages will be put to end.
I surmised that the the activities conducted by the provincial government were just for show and that they were not meant really to stop the proliferation of the illegal drugs in the province, which has not decreased for years. Maybe, we could not blame the young Espino who won the governorship last elections. In Pangasinan, the PNP Provincial Director remained as Officer-in- Charge, thus then Governor Amado T. Espino Jr. has no full hands in directing the PNP personnel, as he desired, to have a full blast operations against the “drug lords, dealers and pushers” in Pangasinan.

I am a little bit surprise that why as of now, the young Espino or Pogi, who is now the Governor of the Pangasinan has not issued any statement supporting the war against the “illegal drugs” of President Duterte? I may be corrected on this, but as far as I know, Governor Pogi Espino has not commented yet on the killings and surrenders of drug personalities in the province. Why the silence Mr. Governor? I don’t think politics has something to do with this?
Going back to combatting this drug menace in Pangasinan, Villasis OIC-Chief of Police Norman T. Florentino is on the right track. Instead of doing aggressive operations on illegal drug operations, he is bent on having a wider consultations among the Villasis population. At first, he consulted the local municipal officials to activate the municipal anti-drug abuse council (MADAC) and reminded them on their duties and responsibilities. After activating the MADAC in coordination with DILG, he went down to the level of BADACs doing IEC or information, education and communication with barangay officials and other stake holders.
Police Chief Inspector Florentino has apparently able to get the support of Villasinians. On July 4, by virtue of a search warrant issued by Honorable Judge Junius F. Dalaten of Regional Court Branch 50, Villasis top drug personality with three others were arrested in a raid at Caramutan village of the said town. Personally, I would like to extend my congratulations to Chief of Police Florentino and his police force for a job well done.
Why am I commending Florentino? He is one of a kind in the police force. He explores community relations first before venturing into a hard stance against the drug pushers and users in the town of Villasis. This is the kind of police officer we need as he’s venturing into an honest-to-goodness fight against illegal drugs.
While I hail the presidency of Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte and his hard stance in fighting illegal drugs in the country, there are now rumors in the mill that incumbent village officials who are in control of BADACs are listing names of their possible opponents on October 31 barangay polls as drug pushers. This has to be stopped. Pangasinan PNP Provincial Director Oliver Lee has issued a statement that the BADACs report has yet to be revalidated.
Why not make these BADAC reports submitted under oath so that appropriate cases could  be filed against erring village officials later on?
(For comments and suggestions, email me at Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at Listen to my radio program “VIRGIL MAGANES SA DWPR” aired over DWPR Radyo Asenso, 1296 KHZ AM Band at 8:00-9:00 AM, Mondays to Saturdays.)

Entry filed under: News.

Villasis police nabs 3 drug suspects, 32 surrender EDITORIAL   Alin ang mas matimbang?

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