CORTES.- What happens when a place declared freed from the torment of drugs, yielded a drug personality not long after?
A police official said that should be a case for the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to decide. But he is unsure.
Asked the big poser at the Kapihan sa PIA, Camp Dagohoyâ€™s Police Community Relations Officer SPO4 Quinciano Lopena did not fail to mention other possibilities.
â€œIt could mar the name of the Barangay leaders who issued the certification that their areas are already freed. And the DILG has standing policies on the acts of local government officials,â€ he added.
Refusing to give a statement, Lopena did not immerse himself in a potential controversy with an answer he obviously could not authoritatively give.
Last week, Dimiao town declared itself freed from the drugs issue.
There was not much of a word however how that was processed until its declaration.
â€œIt must be the DILG because the police can only ask the BADAC and MADAC for the names of those who still are into drugs,â€ Lopena reiterates when asked who put up the parameters for clearing these drug affected towns.
Over the matter, Lopena also clarified that there is so much risk involved.
â€œIf you happen to hear the phrase â€œnewly identified,â€ these are drug personalities who have decided to transfer their operations because their former areas have become hot,â€ Lopena said.
â€œWhen they are caught, then they are the newly identified personalities now tagged to the area,â€ Lopena continued.
If you happen to have somebody new and if he operates in a newly declared drug-free area, how do you treat that?â€ he asked.
This too as the Oplan Double Barrel Alpha took over Oplan Double Barrel which ended October 26.
Lopena, who happened to be a practicing police beat reporter in his young life assumed that the process would be for the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) to declare their barangay safe from the curse.
If the barangay could not be freed yet due to the presence of known drug personalities, they give the names to the police authorities for appropriate action.
When all barangays have declared and the Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council (MADAC) concurs with the attestations, then, the town may declare itself freed from drugs.
But, along the way, he also stressed that the police and other law enforcement agencies would be working in close coordination for the monitoring and verification.
Observers have openly hinted that a declaration of a drug-free town would also be a way of getting the heat off local officials who have finally seen a way to get anti-drug authorities from their backs.
With Dimiao declaring, it may also mean the town has exerted real efforts if only to beat drugs.Â (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)