THE Mandaue City Association of Barangay Council (ABC) denounced police’s claim that most of the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (Badac) in the city are inactive.
In a resolution approved en masse, ABC demanded for a public apology and rectification of the information released by the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 through their information officer Supt. Reyman Tolentin.
Tolentin earlier told reporters that Mandaue has the highest rate of failure in convening Badacs in the past two months.
ABC through its president Ernie Manatad said that based on their records, only two out of the 27 barangays in Mandaue have not conducted a Badac meeting in January while only one barangay failed to convene their anti-drug council in February.
Manatad called for an emergency meeting yesterday about the police’s claim.
It was attended by 22 out of the 27 barangay captains in the city.
According to Manatad, a Medalya ng Kasanayan was even awarded to Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) Director Roberto Alanas and his 55 personnel for their successful campaign against illegal drugs.
He said that the MCPO will not be successful in their war on drugs without the support of the the villages and their Badacs.
“We call it a very unfair and inaccurate statement considering that we have been very supportive of the Philippine National Police’s Oplan Tokhang and Double Barrel...Makasakit sa buot ba. Mandaue City has the highest record in Oplan Tokhang in Region 7,” he said.
Tolentin, when sought for comment, said that there was a miscommunication between him and the office that provided information. He said he only based his statement on the data that was given to him.
“I am only a messenger and I based my information from the available data. Dun lang may discrepancy. I understand the sentiments of the Mandaue council and barangay captains. We really have to rectify it,” he said.
The data, he said, did not come from the Regional Intelligence Division but in the Police Community Relations.
“Nagkuwang diay ang data. It turned out nga ang Mandaue is maayo pala ang performance,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO) believes that the barangays should be given a chance to improve their anti-illegal drug campaign.
CPADAO chairman Carmen Remedios Durano-Meca made the reaction after PNP Chief General Ronald dela Rosa said that he wants to file cases against officials of barangays that have inactive anti-drug abuse councils.
Meca told reporters that she understands the sentiment of barangays, whom she feels are not armed to truly combat the illegal drug menace.
This is why CPADAO continues to conduct non-stop trainings and seminars to properly equip barangay officials and Badac members.
But Meca said that the fight to make the barangays drug-free is never easy.
In Cebu, she said than only 70 percent of the Badacs in 1,066 barangays are active in the campaign against illegal drugs.
She said 30 percent of these barangays cannot comply due to different factors such as the lack of resources and logistics, and the lack of knowledge regarding the role of Badacs.
Badacs located in far-flung villages also encounter problems such as accessibility to sitios during their campaigns.
But Meca also does not discount the possibility that there are some barangays whose officials refuse to undergo training on Badac activation.
At present, she said that CPADAO is monitoring five barangays in Cebu Province with inactive anti-drug abuse councils. (FMG, JKV)