CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The Phil. Drug Enforcement Agency-10 (PDEA-10) has identified 22 more village officials in Northern Mindanao on its “narco-list” as the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections heat up in the run up to the May 14 local election.
The 22 names were on top of the 11 barangay executives who were earlier named in the just recently released PDEA list of more than 200 barangay officials. Of the new names added to the list, Misamis Oriental has four, Cagayan de Oro has three, Bukidnon has eight, Lanao del Norte has five, Camiguin has one and Misamis Occidental has one.
PDEA-10 regional director Wilkins Villanueva said most of the additional names in the agency’s narco-list were incumbent officials. These additional names were, however, not yet on Pres.Rodrigo Duterte’s list.
He said they will submit the 22 names to the PDEA national headquarters.
The narco-list is a document containing the names of local government officials and other personalities who have been alleged to be involved in the illegal drug trade, either as protectors or dealers.
The list will also include local officials who may not be involved in the proliferation of illicit drugs in their communities but who were not cooperating with the PDEA and other concerned agencies in the implementation of the government’s anti-drug campaign such as the community-based rehabilitation program and the arrest of persons who are dealing mostly in crystal meth or shabu.
Because of this, Villanueva has warned barangay leaders to coordinate with the government in its anti-drug campaign or appropriate action will be taken against them.
“There are barangay officials who are clean, they are not protectors, they don’t sell [shabu], and yet they are not doing anything. We have the [anti-drug] program, but they are not cooperating. We will be filing dereliction of duty against you,” Villanueva said.
“If you are the incumbent [barangay official] and you don’t want to implement the program, you better resign and find someone who will implement it,” he added.
To date, PDEA-10 has declared 171 barangays in the region as drug-free, out of the 2,022 barangays. The country has a total of 42,029 barangays as of 2015.(davaotoday.com)