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Barangay execs pledge aid in war on drugs

July 25,2016 - 10:42 PM

Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, Police Regional Office chief, signs the covenant with Councilor Philip Zafra and barangay officials. (CDN Photo/Junjie Mendoza)

Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, Police Regional Office chief, signs the covenant with Councilor Philip Zafra and barangay officials. (CDN Photo/Junjie Mendoza)

ABOUT 40 barangay officials of Cebu City signed a covenant with the Police Regional Office (PRO-7) to signify their support in the campaign against illegal drugs yesterday.

City Councilor and Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) president Philip Zafra said they can provide information to the police and monitor the presence of suspected drug dealers and users in their communities.

“Barangay officials tagging along police authorities in their Toktok-Hangyo operations was one step. We hope that through our support, the police can have a direct lead to people tied to illegal drugs within our barangays because as barangay officials, we know who are these particular people,” Zafra said.

Zafra said they will meet with the barangays who signed the covenant to plan out specific activities that will help drive out drug dealers in their communities.

“There are no specific activities yet, but this is the first step,” he said in Cebuano.

Zafra said providing livelihood to former drug dealers are part of their long-term plans.

He said they should be treated first in rehabilitation facilities before the government helps them lead “a better life.”

“Once we have assessed their statuses while in rehab, we might tap Tesda (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) and open a livelihood project for them, but we’re also aware that the barangay has limited resources, and we cannot accommodate all,” Zafra said.

Zafra, who is allied with Team Rama, said their stand is separate from Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s who withheld his support from the police following the major reshuffle within the ranks.

“Why we participated in this covenant ceremony is that, for us, it’s better if the police’s campaign against the illegal drug trade will not come to a halt,” he said in Cebuano.

Zafra said there was “nothing political” in the covenant signing since they are only lending their support to the police.

He said it’s also better if the barangay officials undergo random drug tests as soon as possible.

Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, PRO-7 chief, and recently installed Senior Supt. Joel Doria, Cebu City police chief, attended the ceremony.

Doria said he was overwhelmed with the support of the barangay officials.

“At least we saw that we garnered support from the lower branches of the government,” Doria said.

Doria also said he is hopeful Osmeña will reconsider his decision to withdraw his support./UP Cebu Intern Morexette Marie Erram

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TAGS: ABC, Association of Barangay Councils, Cebu City, Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, drug peddler, drug pusher, drugs, illegal drug trade, illegal drugs, Noli Taliño, Oplan TokHang, Police Regional Office, Police Regional Office in Central Visayas, PRO, PRO 7, prohibited drugs, Taliño, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Tesda, Toktok Hangyo

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