MANILA–Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Isidro S. Lapeña challenged the officers and members of Liga ng mga Barangay provincial, city and municipal chapters to intensify efforts against illegal drugs in the country.
“As indicated in Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and the Local Government Code, all barangay officials have a role to play in the national anti-drug campaign. It is either you are with us or you are against us! If your barangay is drug affected and you did not take action to address the problem or clear your barangay, you can be tagged as protectors,” Lapeña said during the 2017 National Assembly of the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas in Marriot Grand Ballroom, Newport City Complex, Pasay City last April 4 to 6.
He cited the incident in Barangay Ermita in Cebu, where PDEA Regional Director Yogi Felimon Ruiz filed cases against non-cooperative barangay captains due to their refusal to support an anti-illegal drug operation on November 6, 2016.
The theme of the activity was “Building Capabilities and Sustaining Momentum for Positive Change” with the following objectives: 1) Building grassroots development capabilities; 2) Coping with the programs and target achievements of the government; 3) Sharing positive experiences and social bonding; and 4) Reviewing the Liga Constitution and By-laws to address identified areas of concern and challenges.
With the recent activation of Operation: Double Barrel Reloaded by the Philippine National Police (PNP) has been reloaded, PDEA leads the Barangay Drug Clearing Program and assists in the conduct of investigation of suspected drug personalities. In addition, PDEA’s presence is mandatory in PNP anti-drug operations for high-value targets (HVTs) and high-impact operations (HIOs).
According to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, that 40 percent of barangay officials are linked to illegal drugs.
The PDEA Chief has suggested a target of 30 percent of barangays must be cleared yearly with the hope of totally eradicating the drug menace in four years.
As of March 29, 2017, the National Capital Region has the highest drug affectation of 97.30 percent with the cities of Caloocan, Navotas, Valenzuela, Muntinlupa and Taguig obtaining a 100 percent, while Las Piñas has the least affectation of 55 percent.
Since July 1 last year, 39 Brgy. Chairmen and 53 Brgy. Kagawads have been arrested due to involvement in illegal drugs.