THE new Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) chief listed 67 illegal drug-affected barangays in the city while identifying five barangays that are said to be seriously affected with the illegal drugs.
In his courtesy visit at the City Council on Monday, April 23, Cocpo chief Senior Superintendent Nelson Aganon identified barangays Carmen, Bonbon, 23, Bugo, and Lumbia as the villages who are still seriously infected with illegal drugs.
"Pag sinabing (When we say) seriously affected, there is a possibility that there is a presence of a drug den," Aganon told the city councilors.
Aganon said what is more alarming is the rising presence of 'unlisted drug personalities' in these barangays.
He said the police are set to hold a dialogue with barangay officials to determine the reason why arrests of unlisted drug personalities in villages continue to be undeterred.
Aganon, however, said there are already eight Cagayan de Oro villages considered to be drug-free, namely, barangays 2, 3, 4, 9, 30, 39, 40, and 41.
For a barangay to be identified as "drug free,” it should pass the parameters which include: non-availability of drug supply; non-availability of drug users or dependents; absence of protectors and financiers; active involvement of village officials in the anti-drug activities; existence of drug awareness, preventive education, information and related programs; and existence of treatment and rehabilitation in the barangay, among others.
Aganon also presented before the council the city's dramatic downtrend of crime incidents, which he attributed to the intensified police intervention particularly in its illegal drugs campaign.
In January to March this year, Cocpo listed 1,878 total crime volume as compared to 1,212 crime incidents in the same period last year.
"Upon my assumption, we still focus on sustain operation on Project Double Barrel and Tokhang Operation until such time that the 80 percent of the barangay which was declared drug-affected will be cleared. We will intensify internal cleansing, and we reiterate our stance that we have zero tolerance for any undisciplined and unproductive Cocpo," he said.
Aganon said he is also seeking the support of the city council in tapping student leaders to institutionalize the culture of accountability especially in the barangay level.
"We shall also revitalize the concept of police in barangay because in my observation, may mga barangay tanods na hindi nama-maximize ang (there are barangay police officers that did not maximize their) patrolling. We are going to cluster them and put a police officer in charge to do a simultaneous patrol every night. They will be patrolling with us," he added.
City Councilor Romeo Calizo, chairman of the committee on police, fire, and public safety, has pledged support for the new leadership of the city's police force, especially in providing more patrol cars for the 998-strong policemen of Cagayan de Oro.
Calizo said the council is also pushing to add 10 more police stations to boost efforts of the local police to deter criminality and ensure safety of the public.