5 more towns in Pangasinan set to be declared drug-free

DAGUPAN CITY — Five more towns in Pangasinan are set to be officially declared as drug-cleared, raising the number of drug-free municipalities in the province soon to seven, according to the Pangasinan Provincial Police Office (PPPO).

These will be in addition to the two other towns earlier declared by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) as drug-free– Sto. Tomas and Laoac.

Chief Inspector Norman Florentino, head of the police-community relations of the Pangasinan PPO, said set to be declared as drug-free pending validation by an oversight committee from the PDEA and PNP regional offices are Alaminos City, Agno, Bolinao, Natividad and San Nicolas.

“But from our level– Pangasinan Police Provincial Office, we already consider these five local government units as drug-free,” said Florentino during the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Pilipinas (KBP) forum in Dagupan City on Thursday.

He said with little paper works to be accomplished, including an official request to the PDEA regional office for the validation of 1,071 barangays (villages) already cleared, the five towns are now considered drug-free.

There are 1,364 barangays all over Pangasinan and of the number, 1,269 were listed as drug-affected.

With 1,071 barangays already cleared, there remains 209 barangays to be cleared yet, considering that there are 95 barangays that are unaffected by illegal drugs.

Since the launching of Project Double Barrel Reloaded on March 6, after the police temporarily suspended its anti-drug operations for over a month, the Pangasinan police already arrested 123 drug personalities and caused 62 others to voluntarily surrender.

This was made through 120 anti-drug operations conducted by the police, consisting of the serving of 31 search warrants for violation of Republic Act 9165 as well as the conduct of 78 buy-bust operations, seven police responses and two others during Oplan “Sita.”

Sadly in these police operations, the life of one policeman was lost.

From March 6 to April 6, they also confiscated 353 sachets of shabu and eight sachets of marijuana.

Likewise , they had conducted a total of 1,371 visitations in houses of 1, 931 drug personalities found in their list.

He admitted that based on their monitoring, there were 31 cleared barangays located in 12 municipalities where the police again arrested drug suspects, necessitating an urgent review of their status. Leonardo Micua/PNA-northboundasia.com