ILOILO – The Philippine National Police, with the support of Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., is seeking to liberate 82 barangays here from the influence of illegal drugs by the end of the year.
Iloilo Provincial Police Office Director Senior Supt. Cornelio Salinas wishes to achieve the goal through the effective crackdown of high-profile illegal drug personalities in the province.
“The only way we can truly win this war is for us to liberate these territories from illegal drugs at all costs,” Salinas stressed during the Iloilo Provincial Peace and Order Council Meeting held at the governor’s office.
The province of Iloilo has a total of 1,721 barangays in 42 municipalities and one component city. Of the number, 375 barangays are affected by illegal drugs like marijuana and methamphetamine.
So far, only the town of Bingawan in the 3rd District that has 14 barangays is officially liberated from illegal substance by IPPO. Next in this list are the towns of Dueñas (47 barangays), New Lucena (21 barangays) and Tubungan (48 barangays), where clearing operations are complete. Others, on the other hand, are still in the process.
Only few towns are fully freed from illegal drugs because IPPO is facing difficulty in convincing the leaders of the barangay, especially in the 5th District (11 towns), to support the campaign, according to Salinas.
“The campaign should always start in the barangay but, sad to say, only few are cooperating with us. Some are resisting for they claimed that we are encroaching in their privacy,” he said referring to their profiling activities wherein they visit every household.
On his part, Defensor said he will convene the barangay captains in the 5th District for a dialogue to hear the reasons why they are adamant.
“We can talk this out with them and hopefully, we can change their attitude towards the campaign,” he said as he underscored how important the campaign in protecting the people from the ill effects of illegal drugs.
Despite this resistance, the governor still acknowledged the efforts of IPPO as well as the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency in curtailing the proliferation of marijuana and methamphetamine in the province.
“I am proud and happy to announce that IPPO and PDEA have done a very great job in so far as our campaign against illegal drugs is concerned. The figures show 300 percent improvement in terms of persons arrested and value of substance seized,” he said.
IPPO-led operations from January-March 2014 resulted to the arrest of 161 personalities and confiscation of 284 sachets (95.74 grams) of methamphetamine and 15 sachets (750.32 grams) of marijuana.
PDEA-led operations on the same time frame, on the other hand, seized P6.4-million worth of assorted illegal drugs from 100 arrested persons this year.#2014News