Manila Bulletin

PNP: 5 Cordillera re­gion prov­inces drug-free

- By ZALDY COMANDA Pharmacology · Medicine · Benguet · U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration · United States Department of the Interior · Philippines Department of the Interior and Local Government · Baguio

BAGUIO CITY – Five prov­inces in the Cordillera re­gion were si­mul­ta­ne­ously de­clared drug-free, leav­ing only Benguet prov­ince and this city as drug-af­fected com­mu­ni­ties regionwide.

Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent An­gelito Casimiro, deputy re­gional di­rec­tor for op­er­a­tions of the Po­lice Re­gional Of­fice-Cordillera said the five prov­inces which were con­sec­u­tively de­clared “drug-free” are Ifu­gao prov­ince on Fe­bru­ary 10, fol­lowed by Kalinga on Fe­bru­ary 12, Apayao on Fe­bru­ary 13 and Mt Prov­ince on Fe­bru­ary 14.

Abra was the first to be de­clared drug-free last Jan­uary 26.

The cer­e­mony declar­ing the prov­inces drug-free was led by Chief Supt. Elmo Sarona, re­gional di­rec­tor and his di­rec­to­rial staff, Philip­pine Drug En­force­ment Agency (PDEA), Depart­ment of the In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment (DILG) and lo­cal gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials of the five prov­inces.

Casimiro ex­plained that there is a process be­fore an area is de­clared drug-free.

“Be­fore declar­ing a prov­ince drug-cleared, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with PDEA, BADAC, PADAC, LGUs and con­cerned mem­bers of the com­mu­nity ini­ti­ated var­i­ous pro­grams, projects, ac­tiv­i­ties and in­ten­si­fied its il­le­gal drug op­er­a­tions within their re­spec­tive barangays in sup­port to the anti-il­le­gal drugs cam­paign of the na­tional gov­ern­ment. This hard work re­sulted in the in­flux of drug sur­ren­derees and drug per­son­al­i­ties,” he said.

The said prov­inces com­plied with the 14 pa­ram­e­ters set by the Dan­ger­ous Drugs Board such as the ab­sence of drug sup­ply, drug lab­o­ra­tory, clan­des­tine drug ware­house, clan­des­tine chem­i­cal ware­house; mar­i­juana cul­ti­va­tion site; drug den, pusher, user, pro­tec­tor and financier.

Casimiro ex­plained that in Baguio City, there are still 13 barangays out of the 128 and 3 barangays in Benguet which have not been cleared yet by the city po­lice di­rec­tor in pro­vin­cial po­lice di­rec­tor.

He said that Baguio and Benguet were given a De­cem­ber 31, 2016 dead­line which was again ex­tended to Jan­uary 30, 2017 to fur­ther in­ten­sify its anti-il­le­gal drugs ini­tia­tives.

The of­fi­cer said that with Pres­i­dent Duterte’s sus­pen­sion of the Oplan Dou­ble Bar­rel, the PDEA is left with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of pur­su­ing the goal for Baguio and Benguet.

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