THE Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) in Cebu City assured the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 that the barangays will cooperate in all their anti-illegal drug operations in the city.

To dispel insinuations that the barangays are not cooperating in the war against illegal drugs, ABC President Philip Zafra met with PDEA 7 Director Yogi Filemon Ruiz and Cebu City Police Office Director Senior Supt. Joel Doria yesterday.

“With the directive of President (Rodrigo Duterte) to suspend the police’s role in the fight against illegal drugs, the more we see that PDEA needs the cooperation of the barangays. We can help them through giving out information since we’re the ones who are familiar with our barangays,” Zafra said.

The village chiefs of Pasil, Suba, Sawang Calero, Duljo Fatima, San Nicolas Proper, Pahina San Nicolas, Calamba, Lorega, Kamagayan and Carreta as well as the police station commanders also attended the meeting.

Zafra said the alleged failure of Ermita Barangay Captain Felicisimo Rupinta and the barangay councilors to cooperate with PDEA during a drug raid last Nov. 6 is an isolated case.

Zafra, who heads the City Council’s committee on barangay affairs, then urged the barangay captains to form an anti-illegal drug organization and submit a list of high-value targets in their areas.

In Tisa where he is the barangay captain, Zafra said he will activate next week the Barangay Advocates for Rehabilitation and Knock-out Approach against Drug Abuse and Addiction or Barkada.

Zafra said the meeting yesterday was only the first of the many meetings that ABC will have with PDEA and the police.

The other barangay captains will also be called in the future meetings so they can air their concerns.