Barrio Luz councilor to recommend termination of barangay tanod who tested positive for drugs

By: Pegeen Maisie M. Sararaña - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | November 20,2021 - 07:31 PM
Barrio Luz is near the Cebu Business Park.

A glimpse of Barangay Luz and the skyrise buildings of the Cebu Business Park in Cebu City. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A Barrio Luz councilor will recommend terminating the village watcher who tested positive after personnel of the Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP) conducted a surprise drug test among 165 barangay staff including officials there.

Barrio Luz councilor Carl Nelson Arnoco in an interview with CDN Digital confirmed this statement.

However, he clarified that this was still initially being agreed upon by other councilors pending the final master list from COSAP on how many tested positive in their barangay.

He said this barangay tanod (village watcher) was just the first, who was initially tested positive as his result was first released on Friday, November 19, 2021, and he would be subjected to a confirmatory test.

The drug test was conducted on Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Arnoco said that once they would receive the official list from the COSAP, then they would immediately write a memo to the watchman, and if there would be any other, of their termination.

Arnoco said that the watcher did not know yet that he tested positive for drugs and he continued to work unless there would already be a confirmation from the COSAP of his engagement with illegal drugs.

He said that the watcher would be enrolled in their Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Program once it would be finalized.

Arnoco admitted that he already had suspicions over the watchman’s alleged involvement in drugs since the area assigned to him had a lot of reported drug activities, but Arnoco and other barangay officials did not receive information from the watchman about these activities in his area.

“Sa akoang nailhan niya, possible gyud ni siya kay naa man gud koy gipangutana niya ba nga nganong sa iyang area pwerteng daghana ang drugs sa iyang area unya wa jod sya kasumbong nako or sa mga police. Possible, nga naa gyuy something diha, naa nakoy duda niya ato,”Arnoco said.

( As far as I know about him, there is a possibility since I already asked him before why there are a lot of drug activities in their area, and he did not report them to me or the police. It is possible, there is something in here, I have suspicions over him.)

Arnoco estimates that the watcher has already been in service in their barangay for about 10 years already.

He further mentioned that despite reports of illegal drug activities in their barangay, they had also noticed vital development in the community response here.

Arnoco said that most of the residents there were much empowered these days as they now had the courage to report should there be illegal drug activities in the area, unlike the previous years.

Jonah John Rodriguez, head of the COSAP, said in an interview that this was around the 10th barangay that they had initiated a drug test since October 2021.

Rodriguez said that he had yet to finalize the total number of those who tested positive for drugs from their previous drug tests but added that this case in Barrio Luz was not the first one.

He said that they woould continue their random drug testing every year in all barangays in Cebu City to make sure that all those working in the government would not be involved in the usage of illegal drugs.

“This is very important kay you know public office is a public trust. So kinahanglan nga ang atoang mga employedo nasubay gyud, wa gyud nagdruga kay once an employee is using drugs, it will affect their performance. For example, sige nakag ka late. sige nakag absent, ang uban manghilabot sa mga butang nga di iyaha, it will really affect his functions,” Rodriguez said.

(This is very important because you know the public office is a public trust. So we need to make sure that our employees are not engaged in this because once an employee is using drugs, it will affect their performance. For example, one would be always late, absent, some will take things that are not theirs, it will really affect his functions.)

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TAGS: barangay tanod, Barrio Luz, COSAP, termination, tested positive for drugs

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