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Dumaguete City, Philippines Thursday, July 7, 2016
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Brgys urged to
help fight vs. drugs

Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office director, Senior Supt. Harris Fama, challenged barangay officials to actively participate in the no-nonsense effort of government to rid the streets and communities of illegal drugs, under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte.

He challenged them to include in the list of shabu users and pushers the names of their relatives, members of their families and friends, if there is cause, as the PNP launches “Oplan Double Barrel”.

The first barrel includes the implementation of Project “Tokhang” that has already gained momentum in Negros Oriental with the surrender of more than 2,000 “drug dependents” in the first six days of July, and the verification and validation of which will follow to determine the veracity and truthfulness of the reports.

After the verification process, they will be asked to sign a voluntary surrender form, and that they will already give up their involvement in the illegal drugs trade and use, because if not, the second barrel will come in, which means the conduct of police operations, such as application for search warrants, buy-busts, and catching the culprits in flagrante delicto ( in the act of committing an offense).

If drug pushers and users defy the first and the second barrel in spite of Oplan Tokhang and pleadings from the police and barangay officials, they can look forward to the third one which is the possibility of changing the birthdays of concerned individuals to “November 2,” which is All Soul's Day, Fama said.

The anti-drug summit was a synchronized activity in the entire Negros Island Region in line with the priority program of the Duterte administration and the new chief of the Philippine National Police, Director General Ronald Dela Rosa.

Lectures were conducted by resource persons from the Department of Interior and Local Government on the important roles of barangay officials as part of their mandate to assist the police in the anti-drugs campaign, and the activation of their Barangay Drug Abuse Council.

During the workshop, a drug watchlist was consolidated from all the 557 barangays of Negros Oriental.

Fama wanted to address a concern where individuals are listed because they have personal grudges or are the enemies of the barangay officials, particularly the barangay captains.

Another concern would be the taking advantage of groups who would want to take the law into their own hands against known drug personalities in their communities. Fama said the police is against the formation of vigilante groups but admitted they can't be present in all areas all the times.

Elected public officials, like mayors, councilors, congressmen, vice mayors, governors and the police are also warned against involvement in the drug menace.

Police operatives responsible in the arrest of suspected drug users and peddlers are also warned against executing affidavits that will result in the acquittal or dismissal of cases, to include non-appearance in court hearings. Fama said this will fall under the second barrel.

After the lectures, the participants signed a pledge of commitment.*JG


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