The Department of Interior and Local Government is filing charges against officials of 73 barangays all over the country before the Ombudsman next week for failure to organize their Barangay Anti Drug Abuse Councils, Rico judge Janvier Echiverri, DILG assistant secretary for legislative and external affairs, said Saturday.
Echiverri, who was the guest speaker at the opening of the 25th Panaad sa Negros Festival at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City, said he could not say if there were barangays in Negros that will be included in the list to be given to the Ombudsman.
The DILG official, who made the announcement at the start of the filing of certificates of candidacy for the barangay elections in May, called on voters to vote for barangay officials who are not involved in drugs.
Vote for barangay officials who are not only good, but who are not afraid to fight against the proliferation of illegal drugs, and to name the drug lords and pushers in their areas, he urged.
Barangay officials who condone the involvement of their constituents in illegal drugs should not be elected into office, he said.
Echiverri told those running for barangay posts, that if they are afraid to fight against the proliferation of illegal drugs, they should give the job to those who can.
“If you are afraid, don't run, give the position to those who are courageous and committed to fight,” he said, adding “You have to activate your BADAC”.
“We encourage barangay officials to participate in strengthening their Barangay Anti Drug Abuse Councils,” he said.
They have to organize, fund and plan it, he said.
“If nothing is done, peace will not reign in your barangay,” he said.
He said that for the nation and the economy to progress, there is a need to maintain peace and order, just as President Rodrigo Duterte did in Davao.
This will only happen with the strong determination of the barangay captains, he said.
Echiverri said he believes 70 percent of the existing barangay officials will be replaced in the May 14 polls.
In his speech, he also stressed the president’s commitment to change the county for the better.
Echiverri called on the Panaad crowd to help the president cleanse the nation of illegal drugs.
“To achieve success in our government, there must be a collective effort and it must start from the people,” he added.
Lauding Negros Occidental for the progress it has made through the years, he also said the warmth of its people is the province’s gem.
Negrenses exemplify the Filipinos’ most regarded character of friendliness, hospitality and genuine concern, which people in the world need, he said.*CPG
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