PNP to name drug-cleared barangays

Mendoza Police officers arrest wanted suspects (file photo)

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is set to declare three unidentified barangays in Puerto Princesa as “drug-cleared,” Police Senior Inspector Pearl Marzo, Information Officer of City Police Office, said Friday.

“May tatlo tayong barangay na ayos na ‘yung papel, dumaan na sa requirements. Tapos after ma-validate ng admin board, pu-puwede na sila madeclare as drug-cleared,” Marzo said, declining to identify for now the three barangays.

Marzo said the ‘administration board’ pertains to a recent ordinance passed by the city council that creates a new panel composed of the City Health Office, City Legal Office, City PNP, City Social Welfare and Development and the Barangay Officials of the concerned barangay that primarily aims to validate and handle any drug-related complaints received from any place or premises situated within their respective barangay may it be a person or a place used as a drug-den or a site of sale.

The board, as the implementing body, would have to ensure the maintenance of the cleared status once declared. This means the barangay, together with its officials, must be pro-active in generating anti-drug activities, and that it will continuously support treatment and rehabilitation of the affected citizens.

Puerto Princesa has a total of 66 barangays, 12 of which have already been declared as “drug-free,” and the remaining 54 barangays are set to be declared as “drug-cleared” soon.

“Yung 12 barangays ay na-deklara nang drug-free noong February sa city hall. Sa “drug-cleared” naman, wala pa tayong naidedeklara, kasi hinihintay pa nating maibaba ang admin board, dahil ‘yan ang requirement bago tayo makakapag-declare na clear na ang barangay,” said Marzo.

However, under the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Regulation No. 3 Series of 2017, “drug-cleared” barangays are those that have been “previously drug-affected and subjected to drug-clearing operations and declared free from any illegal drug activities.”

However, a barangay can only be considered as “drug-cleared” if it passes the following parameters: that illegal drugs are no longer available in the area, if there is no longer any drug transit/transshipment activity therein, no clandestine drug warehouse, no clandestine drug laboratory, no clandestine chemical warehouse, no marijuana cultivation site, no drug den, no drug pusher, no drug user/dependent, and no protector, coddler or financer.

“Yung drug-free is wala talagang drug-affectation. Na-validate natin at ng PDEA ‘yun including PADAC. Upon validation, napansin natin na never tayong naka-monitor ng any drug-related incident or involvement sa certain barangay na yun,” said Marzo.

Presently, the battle against illegal drugs continues. The city police office is still conducting surveillance and monitoring possible drug suspects listed on their watch-list, with the vision to someday clear all the barangays in Puerto Princesa.

“Hindi tayo titigil. Dire-diretso tayo hanggang sa ma-clear natin ang lahat ng barangays. Kung ang ginagawa nating panghuhuli at pag-momonitor ay dire-diretso naman siguro mali-lessen naman ang mga gumagamit, nagtutulak at bumibili,” said Marzo.

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