Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos commended the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for their efforts in mitigating the proliferation of illegal drugs in her capacity as regional chairman of the Peace and Order Council of Region I.
Out of 3,265 barangays in the entire region, 2,901 were infiltrated by illegal drugs according to reports. With the initiatives of PDEA and their local counterparts, a total of 2,855 of these barangays are now “drug-cleared,” leaving only 46 barangays with the influence and use of illegal drugs.
“Sana naman ay walang backsliding,” said Governor Marcos. “Dapat continuous pa rin ang monitoring, pang-huhuli, at buy-bust operations. Sikapin natin na mapabilis ang drug-clearing, at tulungan natin ang PDEA.”
She urged other government agencies to accelerate their own anti-illegal drug efforts, and encouraged local communities to help by reporting to authorities any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Department of Education, the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Army, and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, among others. Members of the private sector, the media, and non-government organizations were also present.
Governor Marcos also emphasized the importance of road safety and clearing of trees to lower the risk of automobile accidents, saying that the PNP, local government units (LGUs), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources should work together in the process.
It was also reported during the RPOC meeting that 75 veteran fighters from the New People’s Army (NPA) in the Visayas had already moved to Luzon.
On the insurgency and the resumption of peace talks led by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, she expressed, “We would like to integrate them into society; at the same time, the peace and order stakeholders are also wary about the safety of the community.”
She made her statements during the 1st Quarter RPOC Meeting held recently at the Sison Auditorium in Lingayen, Pangasinan.
By Dexter A. See