FOURTEEN newly elected barangay officials from Abra included in the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) narco-list faced the Philippine National Police (PNP) officials with a fresh resolve to fight illegal drugs.
On Friday, June 22, Abra Governor Maria Jocelyn Bernos accompanied the officials to the Camp Bado Dangwa in La Trinidad, Benguet, where they renewed their commitment to rid the province of illegal activities.
“Our barangay officials in the list of narco-politics who won signify our support and our commitment to the government’s trust in the anti-illegal drugs fight,” she said.
Bernos said presented 14 barangay officials - five barangay captains and nine council members - who underwent a community-based rehabilitation program after surrendering to authorities and are ready to lead their villages next month.
“Their names were trending during the barangay campaign on social media and yet their community ginusto pa rin nila i-elect itong barangay officials,” Bernos said.
Bernos sought the help of the PNP and PDEA to clear the names of the barangay officials who were previously on the narco-list.
“We just hope that their intentions are genuine, that they will not indulge in anymore in illegal drugs and they will help in eradicating drugs in their respective areas. They appear on this day from July 1 they will be governing their barangays,” said Cordillera Police regional director Chief Superintendent Rolando Nana.
Nana added it is now up to the provincial director and chief of police to look into the safety of those who are on the list.
“If they don’t do anything against the law they will not be arrested so they have to be law abiding citizens,” he added.
The 14 barangay officials submitted to voluntary drug tests and profiling by the PDEA.
Bernos said it will be a long process for officials found positive for drug use, “but still they will still take their seats on July 1, kasi wala pa namang decision iyong korte na tanggalin sila sa puwesto (because there is no court order to remove them).”