AGENTS of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Northern Mindanao have begun looking into the newly elected village officials who may have links to illegal drug activities.
PDEA agent Ben Calibre said their personnel are checking the winning candidates of the recently concluded village and youth polls if they are figured in the “narco-list” or identified in the watch list of drug personalities in the region.
"Gina-check na nato karon ug naa ta'y sakop nga gaminotor sa mga nangdaog kay bag-o pa man nahuman ang election (We have started checking and monitoring those who won the recently ended election)," Calibre said.
Once the newly elected village leaders are validated to have been engaging in the illicit drug business, PDEA agents will then begin the casing and surveillance operation to obtain concrete evidences and personal knowledge of the official's drug transactions.
Calibre said test buy operation will follow and once it turns out positive, PDEA agents will then conduct anti-drug operations.
"Whether na 'Tokhang' or wala at least fair nga napahibalo sila unya kung nagpadayon sila dakpon gayud namo (they were ‘Tokhang’-ed or not, at least its fair that they told us about it and if they continue with it, we will arrest them) whether newly elected or former officials," Calibre said.
Calibre said the government's intense war on drugs should have served as an opportune time for narco-politicians to reform their lives and end their illegal drugs involvement.
"Unta nag bag-o na sila ug naghunong na sa ilang involvement kay kung magpadayon pa gayud sila dakpon gayud sila whether gagamit, gabaligya, ga-supply or gapanalipod sa drug personalities (I hope they are not involved because if they are still involved with illegal drugs, we will arrest them, whether they are drug users, sellers, suppliers or protector of drug personalities)," he added.
Calibre challenged the new sets of village officials to seriously acknowledge and recognize their roles in the barangay in terms of the campaign against dangerous drugs.
He also urged them to know and understand the different orders and directive of the Department of Interior and Local Government on the fight against illegal drugs to address the drug problem in their respective locality.
"Dapat kabalo sila sa ilang (They should know their) role in terms sa (of the) campaign against illegal drugs sama sa pag-allocate og (including the allocation of the) budget for rehabilitation program ug pagtabang masumpo ang (and helping to combat) illegal drug problem," Calibre said.