AS Barangay Ermita continued the house-to-house campaign on illegal drugs yesterday, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he wants all barangays in the city to follow the program.
In his news conference, Osmeña said he doesn’t consider the program as a positive approach toward the problem but as a constant reminder to the public on illegal drugs.
Although what he is doing is a step in the right direction, Osmeña said Ermita Barangay Captain Felicisimo “Imok” Rupinta has to prove himself first.
“When you see that this house is drug-free, you’re doing values formation and awareness,” he said.
The mayor still doubts if Rupinta is not involved in the illegal drug trade, considering that some drug personalities are known to be residents of his barangay.
“Who is he fooling? But it’s a step toward the right direction. He has to prove himself first and that would take time. In the meantime, I question whether he is sincere because of all of these things,” he told reporters.
Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President Phillip Zafra conceptualized the program for his barangay but Rupinta was the first one to do it in the city.
Zafra said he is also hoping that all the barangays will implement the program.
Rupinta, along with other barangay officials, posted tarpaulins containing the words “This House is Drug-Free” in households in his village since Thursday.
Osmeña said that this is not the first time that a campaign on illegal drugs was initiated in the city since during his previous term a “say no to drugs” campaign was also implemented.
Police Regional Office 7 Director Jose Mario Espino said Rupinta’s campaign against illegal drugs can encourage other households to strive to be free from illegal drugs.
Espino said it is a good practice.
“That is a positive approach. We welcome that. It only shows that they are already sharing the responsibility in getting Cebu to be a drug-free province,” he said.
Ermita is one of the drug-infested barangays in Cebu City.
Rupinta said that around 15 to 20 percent of 2,000 houses in Ermita are affected by illegal drugs, adding that Sitio Bato is heavily affected by illegal drugs. (RVC, KAL)