PDEA to expose narco-pols in 211 barangays
THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said Wednesday it will come up with a list of barangay officials involved in illegal drugs before the May 14 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on May 14.
Director General Aaron Aquino said President Rodrigo Duterte has given the go-signal to divulge the names of the incumbent barangay officials in the narco-list.
To date, there are 211 barangay officials in PDEA’s validated list.
In the original list, 293 barangay officials were allegedly linked to the illegal drug activitiy, but some of them were already dead or arrested, Aquino said.
Once the new list is released, Aquino said he would recommend to Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to issue guidelines on the list’s publication.
He said he is ready to accept the consequences of making public the list of the barangay officials linked to the illicit drug trade.
He said the agency has identified 93 members of the House of Representatives, mayors and vice mayors in the narco-list.
“Drug laboratories proliferate. Why? Because barangay officials and the mayors just allow them,” he added.
As a reminder, Aquino renewed his call to the voting public not to support barangay and SK candidates whose names are in the drug watchlist.
“To us in the law enforcement agency, how can we clear a barangay if the barangay chairman himself is an addict? Or if his barangay councilor is a pusher or protector?” he said.
The Dangerous Drugs Board, meanwhile, backed a move of the DILG to file charges against barangay officials for failure to create anti-drug abuse councils.
Board chairman Catalino Cuy cited Section 1 of Board Regulation No. 3 of 2017 stating that all barangays in every local government unit must establish their own barangay anti-drug abuse councils.
The role of council is to plan, implement and evaluate programs on drug abuse prevention in the barangays.
In addition to administrative sanctions, officials who violate any regulation issued by the DDB can be held liable under Section 32 of Republic Act 9165 with a penalty ranging from six months and one day to four years and a fine ranging from P10,000 to P50,000.
Also, he appealed to voters to stay vigilant in choosing their candidates wisely.
Police on Wednesday said five drug suspects were killed in separate buy-bust operations in Laguna province after they fought back against law enforcers.