AMID the challenges brought by pandemic to the local police and government in Masantol town, Pampanga since 2020, the war on drugs in the town remained unrelenting.
During the recent interview of Mayor Danilo Guintu with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, it was disclosed that the municipality has maintained its drug-cleared status since it was awarded in August 2017.
"Simula po nung 2017, ngayon 2021 na, tuluy-tuloy po ang programa natin laban sa iligal na droga. Ang LGU po nagbibigay ng pondo sa kapulisan dahil hindi naman magiging successful ang kahit anong programa kung walang pondo. Malaking bagay ang partnership ng kapulisan at gobyerno," he said.
He also added that continuous lectures and seminars for drug surrenderers are given to enlighten the negative effects of illegal drugs on their and their families' lives.
"Dini-discuss din namin sa kanila ang mga programa ng gobyerno kung saan pwede silang makinabang katulad ng livelihood and scholarship programs. Ang gusto namin magkaroon sila ng normal na buhay para hindi nila maisipan na gumamit o ma-involve sa iligal droga," Guintu said.
Guintu, meanwhile, clarified that there are still drug suspects that are being reported in the municipality but stressed that local police ensure their immediate arrest.
He cited the constant monitoring and coordination between local police and barangay officers in the immediate identification and arrest of suspected drug personalities.
"Kadalasan po mga dayo ang nagdadala dito ng iligal na droga so kapag may nakikita po na dayo na sasakyan na medyo nakakaduda, pinapamonitor po natin agad at kapag nalaman na iligal ang dala o gagawin dito, agad po nating inaaaksyunan," he added.
The mayor also enjoined Masantoleños to coordinate with their barangay officials or local police and government if they see any suspicious activities happening in their community.
He said unity and cooperation are the only answers to maintain the freedom of their communities from illegal drugs.
To further boost the morale of policemen, Guintu also disclosed the planned construction of a new police station in town.
"Kailangan po sama-sama tayong lahat na labanan itong iligal na droga. Alam ko po na ang focus ngayon ay ang Covid-19 pero nandito na po tayo at nalabanan at natalo na ang iligal na droga, kailangan nalang natin panatalihin at magagawa natin ito habang tayo ay sama-sama," he said.