DUMAGUETE CITY – The chiefs of police of the different cities and municipalities in Negros Oriental, as well as barangay captains and barangay officials and law enforcement agencies, attended the first provincial anti-illegal drugs summit on Tuesday.
Philippine National Police (PNP) acting provincial director Sr. Supt. Harris Fama, in his message at the opening of the half-day summit, disclosed that the PNP Regional Office 18 (PRO-18) of the Negros Island Region (NIR) was the first to hold the activity among all the police regional offices in the country.
Fama said that PRO-18 regional director Chief Supt. Conrad Capa could not attend the activity here as a similar anti-illegal drugs summit was simultaneously held in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
According to Fama, the programs that the PNP in the province will undertake to combat the illegal drugs problem will be aligned with that of President Rodrigo R. Duterte and the PNP Chief, Director General Ronald de la Rosa.
The anti-illegal drugs summit in Negros Oriental aimed at coming up with lists of drug personalities based on submissions or recommendations from the barangay captains.
During the summit, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced that 288 of the 557 barangays in Negros Oriental have not yet submitted their respective lists.
Planning Officer Anson Baroro of the provincial DILG lectured on the Roles and Responsibilities of Barangay Officials, citing some laws and/or policies that require barangay officials to cooperate with law enforcement agencies.
Baroro reminded the barangay officials that the anti-drug abuse councils (ADACa) are created at the provincial, city, municipality and barangay levels.
Barangay officials are mandated by law to immediately extend the necessary assistance and cooperation to law enforcement agencies, “from operations to prosecution,” Baroro stressed.
Some of the laws that Baroro cited include the 2009 unified action against illegal drugs and a memorandum circular in 2012 for the strengthening of the ADACs.
These aim to promote the quality of life of the people, improving public morals and maintain peace and order, Baroro added.
The anti-illegal drugs summit comes as hundreds of suspected drug pushers and users have voluntarily surrendered to the police chiefs in many towns and cities in Negros Oriental.
As of last count Tuesday afternoon, a total of 912 drug personalities have surrendered in 14 of the 25 cities and municipalities in Negros Oriental, reports from the police chiefs via the Amigo Cops Negros Oriental PNP text blast project said.
Guihulngan City topped the list with a total of 302, followed by Sibulan with 152; Bais City, 115; Tanjay City, 87; San Jose, 81; Valencia, 39; Zamboanguita, 34; Ayungon, 23; Vallehermoro and Jimalalud, 16 each; La Libertad, 15; Tayasan, 14; Pamplona, 11; and Amlan with seven.
Three of those who surrendered in Tanjay City were reported to be former police personnel.
Dumaguete City, the capital of Negros Oriental, is among those that have not yet submitted a report on drug personalities who have surrendered to the police.
The PNP provincial office has launched “Oplan TokHang” (“toktok” or knock and “hangyo” or ask) with police personnel going on a house-to-house campaign to convince drug personalities that are “of public knowledge” to voluntarily surrender.
The PNP spearheaded the anti-illegal drugs summit in collaboration with the DILG, the provincial government headed by Gov. Roel Degamo, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the National Bureau of Investigation, said Fama. PNA/northboundasia.com