Taliño: A number of barangay captains in the region involved in illegal drugs
Police Regional Office director Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, on Friday, disclosed that a number of barangay captains in Central Visayas are under his “watch list” for their involvement in illegal drugs.
Of the number, Taliño said that he was certain some were from Cebu.
Taliño was reacting to a recent pronouncement by President Rodrigo Duterte linking barangay captains anew to the illegal drug trade.
Duterte in a statement last Thursday, following his official visit to Myanmar and Thailand, claimed that 40 percent of all barangay captains in the country were involved in illegal drugs.
In a speech before the first general assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) at the Manila Hotel, the President said that he did not want the barangay elections held this year due to, what he said was, the influence of drug money in the elections.
Duterte wanted the barangay elections, scheduled this October, postponed again to prevent “narco-politicians” from assuming barangay posts.
Taliño said that although he does not have a copy of Duterte’s drug list which is said to include barangay captains, he was certain that there would be village chiefs on the list coming from the region, particularly Cebu.
“Ilang barangay meron ang Pilipinas, di meron din dito (Cebu). Wala kaming number (of barangay captains) narerecieve pero meron (barangay captains that are included in that list),” Taliño said.
(How many barangays are there in the Philippines? For sure there would be some from Cebu. We cannot be certain of the number but there is.)
“Meron naman na nasa watch list at target list natin,” Taliño said.
(We have barangay captains that are under our watch list and target list.)
For his part, Cebu City Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) president Philip Zafra said he believed that the President’s list had a valid basis and must have undergone proper validation.
“They know more the facts. They also have the intelligence reports. I just hope that this list is properly validated. Our barangay officials also have some of the hardest jobs,” Zafra told Cebu Daily News.
Zafra said that barangay officials found to be involved in illegal drugs should be assisted or dealt with according to their level of participation in the drug trade.
“It will depend on their involvement. We should help them if they are users. But if they are pushers, then we should implement the full force of the law against the fellow,” he said.
Zafra added that barangay officials in Cebu City have been doing their part in supporting the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the Duterte administration.
For one, he said, ABC Cebu City is in the process of cleansing its ranks by conducting surprise drug tests on barangay captains, councilors, and employees.
Earlier this week, Zafra called all the city’s barangay captains to subject them to drug tests conducted by the Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap).
The surprise drug tests were part of preparations for a meeting on Wednesday afternoon with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Isidro Lapeña. “We also want that by March 30, during our meeting with Director Lapeña, we will be able to boast that us barangay captains, we are already doing our own internal cleansing in Cebu City,” Zafra told reporters earlier.
Cebu City has a total of 80 barangays.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.