LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The president of the Provincial Federation of Barangay Councils in Pangasinan has asked her fellow village chairmen to maintain their support to the war on drugs of President Rodrigo Duterte which is still continuing and was in fact further intensified this year.
At the same time, ex-officio Provincial Board Member Jinky Zaplan, provincial president of the federation, called on barangay chairmen in Pangasinan who at one time were involved in illegal drugs to now cease their illegal drug activities and surrender.
She said that some drug-affected barangays have not yet been cleared of illegal drugs and would remain drug-affected unless the barangay chairmen will lend their hand to the police in the drug-clearing operations.
Worse, she said, some village officials were themselves protecting drug dealers or are drug dealers themselves.
Zaplan earlier expressed alarm over the growing number of barangay chairmen and councilmen being killed in Pangasinan and their deaths remained unsolved, that was why she is appealing for permission from higher authorities for them to be armed.
Although Zaplan maintained that not all barangay officials were killed for illegal drugs, the Police Provincial Office had publicly admitted that based on testimonies of drug surrenderers, there were strong indications a few of the current village officials in Pangasinan are indeed involved in illegal drugs.
Zaplan recalled that during the time of then Gov. Amado Espino Jr., now congressman of the fifth district of Pangasinan, barangay chairmen were issued by the province with one shotgun each but all these were turned over to the police before the election in 2013 and were never returned.
She suggested that all these shotguns be donated to the police to boost their firepower.
Zaplan said she will appeal to Gov. Espino to study the feasibility of issuing barangay chairmen new firearms to be bought by the province. PNA – northboundasia.com