31,000 b’gay chiefs may face charges over drug coun­cils

The Philippine Star - - NEWS - By CECILLE SUERTE FELIPE With Paolo Romero, Cet De­mat­era, Sheila Crisostomo

In­cum­bent barangay cap­tains who have failed to or­ga­nize func­tional Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Coun­cils (BADACs) will face ad­min­is­tra­tive charges.

In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cer-in-charge Ed­uardo Año there­fore urged barangay of­fi­cials to or­ga­nize their BADACs.

DILG un­der­sec­re­tary for barangay af­fairs Mar­tin Diño said they ex­pect doc­u­ments from 31,000 barangay chair­men who have yet to sub­mit their re­ports on BADAC com­po­si­tion and ac­com­plish­ments to be sub­mit­ted soon.

“If barangay lead­ers refuse to or­ga­nize their BADACs or fail to ac­ti­vate their BADACs, they could face ad­min­is­tra­tive charges from the (Depart­ment of the In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment),” warned Año.

Año chal­lenged barangay chair­men to prove their com­mit­ment to rid their com­mu­ni­ties of il­le­gal drugs by form­ing and ac­ti­vat­ing their BADACs.

“Prove that you are one with Pres­i­dent Duterte’s war on il­le­gal drugs. Ac­ti­vate the BADAC in your barangay,” Año said in Filipino.

Año said BADACs en­sure that there is a con­ver­gence of ef­forts among barangay lead­ers to carry out the anti-il­le­gal drugs cam­paign on the com­mu­nity level.

Based on re­ports from the DILG’s Na­tional Barangay Op­er­a­tions Of­fice, 94 per­cent or 39,417 of the 42,036 barangays na­tion­wide have or­ga­nized their BADACs. Of the 39,417 com­pli­ant barangays, 86 per­cent have or­ga­nized their aux­il­iary teams. How­ever, only 61 per­cent have for­mu­lated their BADAC Plan of Ac­tion.

The BADAC is com­posed of the punong barangay as chair­man and the Sang­gu­ni­ang Barangay mem­ber who is the head of the peace and or­der com­mit­tee as vice chair­man. Its mem­bers in­clude the SB mem­ber who is the head of the com­mit­tee on women and fam­ily; Sang­gu­ni­ang Ka­bataan chair­man; pub­lic school prin­ci­pal or his or her rep­re­sen­ta­tive; ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer or chief tanod (peace and se­cu­rity of­fi­cer) and one rep­re­sen­ta­tive each from a faith-based or­ga­ni­za­tion or a non-gov­ern­ment or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Serv­ing as BADAC ad­viser is the city or mu­nic­i­pal chief of po­lice or his or her rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

For his part, Diño ex­pressed be­lief that if barangay chair­men did their part in ad­dress­ing the il­le­gal drugs prob­lem, the sale of shabu would not be ram­pant.

He sus­pected that barangay chair­men who failed to or­ga­nize func­tional BADACs might be in­volved in il­le­gal drug ac­tiv­i­ties.

Diño said a le­gal team has been cre­ated to in­ves­ti­gate the fail­ure of the barangay chair­men, adding that in­cum­bent barangay of­fi­cials would be charged if they failed to es­tab­lish their BADACs.

“Even if their term is over, we will not hes­i­tate to charge them,” he said.

As this de­vel­oped, se­na­tors backed yes­ter­day calls to re­lease to the pub­lic the list of barangay of­fi­cials with al­leged links to the il­le­gal drug trade be­fore the barangay and SK elec­tions next month.

Sen­ate Pres­i­dent Aquilino Pi­mentel III said the so-called narco list should be made known to the pub­lic so those in it will have the chance to clear their names “if they are in­ter­ested in do­ing that.”

Pi­mentel told re­porters the re­lease of the list to the pub­lic is ac­tu­ally “fairer” to all con­cerned rather than keep­ing it a se­cret and then it is used by ‘en­ter­pris­ing’ peo­ple for ex­tor­tion ac­tiv­i­ties.

Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Leader Vi­cente Sotto III said he sees merit in ei­ther mak­ing pub­lic the list or keep­ing it un­der wraps.–

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