• Barangay officials get ultimatum

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    Barangay executives in Manila who were identified as protectors of drug pushers or were drug addicts themselves were urged by Mayor Joseph Estrada on Sunday to voluntarily turn themselves in.

    According to Police Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo, deputy director for operations of the Manila Police District (MPD), the mayor had the names of the 10 incumbent barangay officials but Pedrozo refused to identify them, only hinting that they were from barangays in Malate, Tondo and Sampaloc.

    He also turned down queries if they were barangay chairmen or village councilors (kagawad).

    “Ang ginagawa namin, binibigyan sila ng babala na kapag hindi sila tumigil sa kanilang gawain ay gagawa na talaga kami ng kaukulang aksyon dahil sa utos ng ating mayor (We warned them to stop their activities or we will take action as directed by the mayor)” Pedrozo said.

    He said Estrada’s instructions were to file charges and remove them from office.

    Pedrozo said the mayor’s ultimatum has netted good results as one of them, Barangay 758, Zone 82 Barangay Chairman Leticia Yang personally reported to the mayor that her son, an incumbent barangay councilor, is a drug pusher and user.

    Estrada has directed the MPD anti-drug operations unit to focus on the barangay officials long suspected of having links with drug rings or who were using drugs.

    Pedrozo said barangay officials have until Wednesday to submit a list of known drug pushers and users in their area.

    He said the lists will be verified by the police before conducting operations to arrest them.
    In March, Estrada led an anti-illegal drugs summit to further train barangay personnel in the fight against illegal drugs.

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