BONTOC, Mountain Province – Political and police officials here have stepped up their efforts to contain the sale, distribution and use of illegal drugs which has affected some personalities and areas in the province.
Latest report from the Provincial Police Office has it that there are at least 467 drug personalities and that 62 of the 144 barangays are affected, two of which are considered seriously affected because of the alleged presence of marijuana plantations.
With this, the Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council was reactivated in an effort to consolidate reports from the barangays and come out with appropriate policy recommendations to arrest the growing social menace.
Last Tuesday, representatives from the 144 Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils converged for a briefing on their role as the frontline body in the campaign against illegal drugs.
Lawyer Ernesto Marzo from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) emphasized that without the cooperation of barangay-based officials and groups, the threat can never be overcame. “You are the people who know everyone in your areas. You know who are those involved in drugs and you know the best way by which this could be solved,” Marzo stressed.
Provincial Police Director Cornelio Comila said the meeting was likewise intended to let the barangay officials know that law enforcers are bent on clearing all barangays of illegal drugs. Comila admitted that a number of reported crimes are drug-related.
Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. likewise noted that the number of drug personalities is disturbing taking into consideration that of the 467 identified people, 22 are children. “We should do something about this,” Lacwasan said.
The governor further commented that of the many cases against children, majority are sexual assault. “We live in a place where the prevailing culture puts too much premium on what is best for children. We live in a place where abuses against children are distasteful. It is my suspicion that suspects of crimes against our children are into drugs,” Lacwasan added.