BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved a resolution encouraging all candidates for barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) during the upcoming May 14, 2018 synchronized barangay and SK elections to take a step forward and volunteer to undertake the needed drug testing to ensure that the polls will not be trained with issues concerning the involvement of the candidates to illegal drugs among other vices.
The resolution authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that it is imperative that the public to be cooperative and proactive in the crusade of President Rodrigo R. Duterte against illegal drugs so that those who desire to be elected as barangay and SK officials must be from any involvement in illegal drugs.
In a previous press statement, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency – National Drug Information System (PDEA-NDIS), there are 289 barangay officials who were listed in the President’s narco-list which is composed of 143 barangay chairmen and 146 barangay kagawads.
Of the 289 barangay officials linked to illegal drugs, 41 had been reportedly arrested, 5 in legitimate police operations, 27 homicide under investigation, 3 recorded natural death, 5 used other names or aliases and 1 politically motivated death.
Yangot added the barangay officials with the assistance of their constituents should pursue intensified and unrelenting efforts to safeguard the wellbeing of their community from the serious negative effects of dangerous drugs which greatly affects the youth and future of their local communities.
According to him, in the pursuit of the local government’s programs against illegal drugs and substance abuse and addiction, the city is making progress in combatting the said narco problem because of the active role of barangay officials through the Barangay Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs) and the public in general.
For his part, Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to craft the appropriate guidelines to mandate candidates for barangay and SK positions to first undergo the mandatory drug test as one of the requirements for the acceptance of their certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the May 14, 2018 synchronized barangay and SK polls.
The local chief executive pointed out that candidates for the various elective positions who will turnout to be positive in the mandatory drug test should no longer be allowed to pursue his or her candidacy if only to make sure that the upcoming political exercise will be free from the influence of drug lords who continue to ply their trade even with the government’s aggressive campaign against the lucrative drug trade.
He suggested that the poll body must be able to issue the appropriate regulations against the involvement of drug influenced candidates in the political exercise so that there will be a guarantee that there will be no barangay official who is a drug personally will be elected into public office after the May 14 polls considering that drug lords will continue to do their best to make sure that they will be able to freely ply their trade amidst the aggressive efforts of the present administration to stamp out drugs in the country.
The approved resolution of the local legislative body will be forwarded to the Comelec and the concerned barangay and SK candidates in the city’s 128 barangays for their information and guidance. By Dexter A. See