LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — The Pangasinan police said the drug clearances it issued for five towns of Pangasinan are still on hold pending validation by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Senior Supt. Ronald Oliver Lee, police provincial director, said this means it is back to just two towns that are officially drug-cleared in Pangasinan based on the new guidelines on the war on drugs.
Lee said they earlier declared seven towns in Pangasinan as drug-free but based on the new guidelines, only Sto. Tomas and Laoac have qualified as drug-free.
Those previously declared by the police as drug-free but have yet to be validated by the PDEA are Natividad, San Nicolas, Alaminos City, Bolinao and Agno.
“These towns including their respective barangays as well as the barangays of the others that were previously declared drug-free are all under validation. After validation, we will declare them as drug-free, Lee told newsmen.
He said there was no time frame given them to clear all the towns and cities on Pangasinan but as much as possible, “we should clear them all at least within the year”.
Lee added the war on drugs suffered a snag when the police stopped their operations against illegal drugs because there were many drug personalities who went back to their illegal activities after they have voluntarily surrendered.
Most of these, however, were already arrested during the early stages of the Project Double Barrel Reloaded because as the police stopped their operations against illegal drugs, they were at the same monitoring those who continued with their illegal activities, he said.
“If you will notice, many or most of those we are now recently arresting are newly emerged drug personalities because the old faces in the drug trade were already arrested by us,” he added.
Asked how many more high-value targets they have yet to arrest, Lee said there are just three more and not one of the three is an elected official.
He said they are applying for the search warrants in the houses of the three HVTs as they did to previous HVTs they have arrested, among them barangay chairmen.
Meanwhile, Lee said as the newly appointed Pangasinan police provincial director, he will continue the re-intensified campaign against illegal drugs, including against crimes, like murders and robberies.
He said the Pangasinan police will continue to conduct aggressive operations against criminals and law violators. Leonardo Micua/PNA – northboundasia.com