Name names but pursue cases against candidates in narc list
CEBU City officials back the proposal of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to name barangay election candidates who are involved in the drug trade.
“Why not? So that the people will know. The people can judge anyway and let these people [who are involved in drugs] explain. Just like me, they mentioned that I’m a drug protector. Fine. Just file the case and i will answer that,”Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said.
But instead of merely naming names from the PNP narco list, the PNP should also cite the circumstances that link the alleged individuals to the drug trade.
Councillors Joel Garganera and Raymod Alvin Garcia said that naming the candidates who are in narco lists would help the people in choosing their leaders in the barangay.
“It depends where that comes from. That (narco list) should come from the police and made by the police,” Garganera said.
But he said this should not be used as a means to campaign against a candidate.
Garcia for his part urged PNP not to be content at just revealing their narco list but should pursue the filing charges against the persons whom they identify to be in the drug list.
But Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said naming names is ‘unnecessary’ .
“It is not absolutely necessary kay mga residents sa mga barangay know the person kaning mga kandidato (the candidates),” Davide said.
Cebu Provincial Anti- Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO) Head Carmen Remedios “Ivy” Durano-Meca however agrees with naming names saying this would help voters to choose their officials.
“Considering that we are serious to the campaign against illegal drugs, I think it would be good as well that the public would know who are they choosing especially barangay officials,” he said.
Garganera meanwhile said he supports the move to require candidates to undergo drug testing.
Cebu City Office on Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap) head Garry Lao said that they are ready to facilitate drug testing if the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will set drug testing as one of the requirements in running for the elections.
Lao also clarified that it would be the candidates who would shoulder the cost of the drug test should it would be required.
Meanwhile, Osmeña said testing negative would not mean that one is not a drug lord or a coddler.
“You can be a drug lord without using drugs,” said Osmeña.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA – 7) Regional Director Emerson Margate revealed during the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC- 7) meeting on Friday that the region ranked third nationwide in the number drug-affected barangays.
As of March 2018, at least 90. 38 percent of the 3, 003 barangays in the region are drug affected, followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 95. 37 percent and Region nine, which ranks first, with 96.17 percent of its barangays are drug – affected.
In Cebu province, Meca said 160 of the 1, 066 total number of barangays were declared as drug cleared barangays.
“Definitely, garbo gyod sa (it is the pride of the) barangay nga drug cleared gyod,” she said.
Meca said the baragany election is timely as she was hoping for the new set of official to support their cause against illegal drugs.
“New set of officials would really give us more hope especially to those barangays that are really affected and if some of its barangay officials are involved in illegal drug activities,” she added.
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