An official of the Department of Interior and Local Government yesterday warned that barangay captains are administratively liable, if they fail to submit the list of drug users, peddlers and protectors in their areas.
DILG provincial officer Carmelo Orbista said that the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council is mandated to submit regularly their drug watch lists.
DILG records show that 12,000 of the 42,000 barangays in the country have no functioning BADAC, despite its circular on the mandatory creation of such body.
Anybody can file administrative charges against barangay leaders who are not cooperating in the anti-drug campaign, Orbista, who used to be the DILG-Bacolod officer, said.
While majority of barangay officials in Bacolod City extended cooperation in the anti-drug campaign, Orbista, who recently assumed as DILG provincial director of Negros Occidental, said they are now monitoring barangay leaders in the province, on their compliance with the creation of BADAC.
The Police Regional Office 6 earlier expressed its support to the awareness drive for rejecting re-electionist barangay officials, who are uncooperative in the anti-drug campaign of the PNP.
While he has yet to determine if there are barangays in Negros Occidental with no BADAC, Orbista said they have field officers to see to it that there is compliance by barangay officials concerned.
Barangay officials must also have participation in the clearing of their respective areas of illegal drugs, Orbista also stressed.
While the PNP has joined the awareness drive against the re-election of barangay officials linked to illegal drugs, Orbista said that it should be the voters who will choose their leaders.
Orbista, who attended the joint meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council and Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council at the Capitol in Bacolod City yesterday, said “everybody knows everybody in the barangay, so the voters should know well, if their barangays leaders have leanings or linkage to illegal drugs”.
But he urged voters to vote for the right leaders in the May synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, who possess the character and leadership qualities that are important to carry out meaningful peace and development initiatives in the communities.
This is in relation to DILG's nationwide campaign for "Matino, Mahusay, at Maaasahang" Barangay and SK Officials to encourage the public to vote for good leaders, Orbista said.
He also reminded them to stay non-partisan as provided under the Local Government Code. "They should not have political parties and should remain neutral. Our law is very clear on this," he stressed.*GPB
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