PDEA monitoring 5 Davao narco-politicians

THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Davao is monitoring five narco-politicians in the region, of whom one is from Davao City, who are in its watch list.

PDEA-Davao director Senior Superintendent Antonio Rivera said during a weekly press forum on Wednesday that they are still conducting surveillance on the activities of these individuals.

Six barangay officials were being monitored previously but they lowered down to five after a barangay councilor, who is among their top 10 high-value targets, was arrested for his involvement in illegal drugs during the conduct of a search warrant at his residence at Purok Pomelo, Block 8, Quilisadio Subdivision, Barangay New Visayas, Panabo City, Davao del Norte on February 28.

The suspect was identified as John Terrel Nardo, 36, barangay councilor of New Visayas. Recovered during the operation were six sachets of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as “shabu”, weighing about 10 grams with a street value of P120,000 and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Nardo, who is also included in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of narco-politicians, is facing violation of The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

“Sama sa akong gisulti diri sa Davao City naa tay isa, kay nag-surrender natong isa in fact naka-graduate na gani sa CBRAP or Community-based Rehabilitation and Aftercare Program sa atong LGU (As what I’ve said, we have one here in Davao City because the other one had already surrendered, in fact, he had already graduated in the CBRAP of the LGU),” Rivera said.

Without naming the narco-politicians, he said there is one in Davao del Sur but inactive; one in Davao del Norte, one in Davao Oriental, and one also in Compostela Valley.

Rivera said their relentless effort to weed out illegal drugs is still ongoing particularly in terms of supply reduction and demand reduction.

“Sa supply reduction nato ginapakusgan through our search warrant and initiation nato sa buy-bust operation while ang demand reduction nato is done through muadto mi sa mga eskwelahan ug ginapahibalo sa tanan ang program sa PDEA (We are strengthening our supply reduction through search warrants and buy-bust operation, while on the demand reduction, we go to schools and make them aware about the PDEA’s program), not only in schools but other government and private offices para mahibalo sila (so that they will know) about illegal drugs,” he said.

In line with their preparation for the 81st Araw ng Dabaw, PDEA-Davao is on alert to prevent the entry of illegal drugs.

“We are trying to prevent the entry of illegal drugs here because as you see, sa Araw ng Dabaw there are a lot of activities lined up and this might be taken advantage of by drug syndicates,” he said.

Considering that there are a lot of concerts and street parties to be staged during the month-long celebration, they are monitoring the movement of party drugs called ecstasy and other dangerous drugs.

“Drug parties (like) ecstasy in the form of tablet, in the form of liquid, or in the form of powder tapos naa pa nay ginatawag na fly-high drug otherwise known as green apple, party superman, sa local parties it is a very dangerous cocktail,” he said, adding that this drug is composed of little amount of Ecstasy, a little amount of shabu, and a little amount of Cialis, a drug to treat erectile dysfunction.

Meanwhile, PDEA-Davao is also calling all elective officials and candidates who are involved in illegal drugs trade to have a decency not to seek position in barangay and/or Sangguniang Panlungsod (SK) elections.

As the barangay and SK polls are fast–approaching, Rivera said although there is no exact policy on the matter, it would not be good for a barangay to have tainted leaders.

"I do not know if being in the list that they are using and/or selling illegal drugs is a prohibition for them not to seek a post at barangay level, but it would be better if you don't run. Ka-ulaw pud. Nahibalo mo kung kinsa mo (Have a decency, you know who you are)," Rivera said.

He said most of the constituents, if not all, in barangay level are aware of what has been going on in their respective areas, adding that incumbent or former officials who have a record could not easily deceive the people.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Davao City spokesperson lawyer Omar Samama, meanwhile, said there is no rule yet that barangay and SK elections candidates cannot run in barangay and SK elections if they are reportedly involved in illegal activities.

"According to the law, kung hindi pa naman final ang executory against an individual facing complaint, wala pa talaga yang impediment against the person involved. She or he could still seek for a position," Samama said.

Rivera also said that the Pdea-Davao office is open should the candidates or elective officials in the barangay and SK polls would undergo for a drug test.


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