FIVE municipalities and two component cities are being monitored by the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) over reports some public officials have links with drug pushers.
Senior Supt. Clifford Gairanod, CPPO officer-in-charge, said that the drug personalities are friends with the officials, some of whom are incumbent mayors.
“We have info that some drug pushers will be used for the campaign period. They will be used as goons. These persons are aggressive because they are high on shabu and have no fear,” Gairanod told reporters yesterday.
He instructed his intelligence operatives to investigate the officials and conduct operations against the drug pushers, whose armed men might be used by politicians.
The component cities are located in northern and southern Cebu, while the municipalities being monitored by the police are mostly located in the south.
“Money coming from drugs is big,” said Gairanod.
Gairanod said CPPO's intelligence units are also looking into cops who are overstaying in police stations for they might have links with illegal drug personalities and other crime groups.
Erring cops should be charged and those who are proven guilty of protecting drug pushers should be dismissed from the service.
Gairanod said that they are also looking into the political situation in Dumanjug, Bogo City, Tuburan and San Fernando.
He said these places may be included in the election watch-list areas (EWAS) because of a history of "intense political rivalry."
As the campaign period for local candidates is set to start in late March, the police official said there is a possibility that the rivalry among warring politicians will heat up again.
Gairanod, however, said that the police are still conducting meetings with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) 7 and the Central Command. They have not yet decided on which towns and cities will be classified as EWAS.
In the 2013 mid-term elections, three component cities and 20 municipalities were included in the EWAS. These were Bogo City, Danao City, Carcar City, Sta. Fe, Madredijos, Bantayan, Daanbantayan, Medellin, San Remigio, Tabuelan, Tabogon, Borbon, Sogod, Carmen, San Francisco, San Fernando, Tuburan, Barili, Ronda, Alcantara, Dumanjug, Pinamungajan and Cordova.
Only San Francisco, Sta. Fe, Bogo City, Carmen and Cordova were classified as EWAS in the 2010 national elections.