Rody's right again-A A +A
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
FOLLOWING a series of drug den raids last week, in which a couple of dozen snorters and sniffers were rounded up, Vice-Mayor Rody Duterte commented that barangay officials should be made more accountable for crime in their areas and the man is right again.
I for one fail to understand how barangay officials could NOT be aware of such an obvious blip as an up and running drug den on their patch. This is after all the Philippines where the national sport is gossip and tittle-tattle. In days gone past if I broke wind on Claveria the missus would know about it before I got home.
Sit in a barangay hall for an hour. They're usually pretty busy not only with local officials and their hangers-on but folks trooping in for this clearance or that certificate or just to chinwag. You get to hear all sorts about the barangay - far more than you'd hear at the local police precinct. And barangay officialdom is like a pyramid, the captain at the top, purok leaders at the bottom but they too have their own pyramid of pals. If Juan dela Cruz knows what's going on - even drug dens have neighbors - then so must, or so should, the barangay captain and the local police commander.
So why the lack of action?
The fear factor. Ratting to the police or barangay about a drug den around the corner is bound to be unhealthy. The financial consideration. Neighbors to a drug den probably make a few pesos from supplying soft drinks and cigarettes and so on and thus keep quiet. pathy. Many public officials - at whatever level - have a couldn't care less attitude. Let sleeping dogs lie. The bureaucracy factor. There's sure to be an abundance of red tape. I know that at my local police station in order to lodge a complaint against the driver of a vehicle - whether car, motorcycle or tricycle - the complainant is required to supply the name and address of the registered owner. i.e., trot down to the LTO with the plate number, trot back to the police station to file the complaint. Bureaucracy in action – hindering rather than helping. Why bother to complain?
So yes Rody. Feel free to slap our barangay officials around a bit. Remind them that not only is the barangay hall the first rung on the political ladder, they are there primarily to serve the community, to maintain the quality of life, to help effect peace and order.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 02, 2012.