THIRTY percent of the estimated 42,000 villages (barangay) in the country have not activated their anti-drug councils because the leaders themselves were allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade, the anti-narcotics chief said on Thursday.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director Aaron Aquino said he has a list of the barangay officials who have not activated their Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Badac) because of their alleged links to drug personalities.
Aquino did not identify these officials, citing confidentiality.
Aquino said the barangay captains have their own watchlists identifying their accomplices in the illegal drug trade.
“So what are they going to do? They will not activate the Badac,” Aquino said.
He added: “If they are going to activate it, it is just ‘moro-moro’ and non-functional.”
Aquino said these village chiefs with alleged links to illegal drugs were obstacles to drug-clearing operations in their areas of jurisdiction.
“How can we clear a village if the village chief himself is a drug addict?” Aquino said.
The PDEA has coordinated with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the activation of the Badac in all villages nationwide and warned officials that they would be charged with dereliction of duty if they fail to comply.
Aquino said that if he had his way, he would release all the names of village officials with alleged links to drug trading to remind everyone to vote wisely on May 14.
“If I have my own way, ilalabas ko ang listahan ng baranggay captain at kagawad [involved in drug-related activities]para di sila maboto,” Aquino said.
(I will release the names of village chiefs involved in drug-related activities so no one will vote for them.)
He is not allowed to release the names of alleged narco-politicians for purposes of confidentiality but would not hesitate to do so if President Rodrigo Duterte would give him the go signal. ROY NARRA