Editorial: The eyes of the barangay-A A +A
Friday, February 8, 2013
IT shouldn’t have taken a public on-air haranguing before Barangay 23-C chairman Amilbangsa Manding acted against illegal drugs in his area in Mini-Forest.
But because he didn’t do anything to stop the flourishing nocturnal business there, then he fully deserved what he got. Manding was not just the barangay chairman, he lives right where the action is; thus there is no doubt he got word about all the goings-on. His is an urban slum where talk travels far and wide, it’s impossible that he didn’t know anything.
He’s not like Marilog barangay chairman Leonilo Suyko who can barely visit all sitios in his barangay because of sheer distance and bad terrain and thus can be forgiven if he is not well-versed on the happenings in sitio Guilon, some 25 kilometers on mountain trail. Rather, Manding is right there where the illegal trade is going on.
That said, it is sad that it takes a public bawling out for barangay officials to do something to fight one of the worst scourge of societal decay. It’s not even as if those sellers were exerting extra effort to hide what they are doing. As related by Davao City Police Office Director Sr. Supt. Roland dela Rosa, some of their operatives who staked out from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. at Mini-Forest last Tuesday till Wednesday, were approached by users, asking if they have stuff to sell.
That simply means that before the public dressing down Manding got last Sunday, users would simply go to Mini-forest and ask anyone who is standing in the dark for drugs. How long has that been going on? Apparently for a long time already since clients from different sectors were seen by the police – call center agents, businessmen, and those in prostitution, again as related by dela Rosa.
Now, we wonder, if Mini-forest had these, how is it out there in Mabini (Barangay 37-D) along Quezon Boulevard? The area most notorious for drugs through the greater part of two decades still figures in reports on buy-bust operations every now and then. Will it take another public tirade against the barangay chairman before any action follows? We hope not.
By this time, barangay officials should very well know that they may be the basic unit of governance, but being such, they are also a part of the local government. This means, they should not fear the evils illegal drug traders can wield for as long as they do this in coordination with the city government and the local police. Those drug dealers know how it is to do business in Davao; they would just want to risk in. The role then of all officials and all residents concerned for their safety and their children’s future should be to make sure that the risks are high – by being the very active eyes and ears of their communities.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 09, 2013.