Anti-drug chief not agreeable to suspending polls
The provincial government’s anti-drug chief isn’t keen about President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to postpone the barangay elections and appoint barangay officials on his own.
“I am not totally agreeable in terms of the appointment of barangay officials. For one, it is the authority of the people to choose their leaders in the barangay level,” said Ivy Durano-Meca, chief of the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office.
Meca said even at the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) level, barangay residents already know who among their leaders are involved in drugs.
“The BADAC has its own watch list and they can identify those who are involved in drugs so they wouldn’t choose them as their leaders,” she said.
Meca said there are issues other than the anti-drug campaign that should be focused on and it’s possible that barangay residents won’t support those that would be appointed to office.
Meca said it’s unfair to generalize all barangays as drug hotspots.
She said with all the resources and personnel at their disposal, the Duterte administration should know by now who are the drug coddlers and go after them.
Meca said those who are linked to the drug syndicates should be replaced and not those who served their barangays well.
In Cebu, Meca said there are less than 10 barangays that are problematic when it comes to complying with their office’s programs. Most are very cooperative, she said.
If barangay officials were appointed, Meca said their programs may be affected and the officials may not support their initiatives.
“In terms of transition, these barangay officials will have to go back to zero and be oriented but I don’t think they will not perform since the campaign against illegal drugs is their responsibility,” she said.
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