THE regional police command said it is authenticating an inter-agency intelligence report that 18 Central Luzon officials have links to drug syndicates.
Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, regional police director, told The Manila Times that the report has named mayors and vice mayors, saying their goal to render the entire region drug-free under Oplan Tokhang is far from being met as of November or two months before it ends in January 2017.
Bataan province was declared drug-free recently and most of those who surrendered have joined the reformation program.
Aurora Province was reported as the most peaceful province with zero crime rate.
Nueva Ecija and Pampanga are the most improved provinces in the region, with reduced drug proliferation, while the rest of the provinces also recorded fewer crime incidents.
Even as 791 villages in the region had been declared drug-free or 28 percent of the target-completion rate, around 2,009 barangay are yet to be cleared, Aquino said.
Region 3 is composed of 3,102 villages.
From July 1 to November, police listed 65,757 drug pushers and users who have surrendered.
Of this number, 1,757 were in Aurora; 3,875 in Bataan; 18,002 in Bulacan; 13,07 in Nueva Ecija; 10,893 in Pampanga; 7, 641 in Tarlac; 4, 064 in Zambales; 1,166 in Angeles City; and 1,035 in Olongapo City, Zambales.
There were 3,717 suspected drug dealers arrested, of whom 147 were nabbed in Aurora; 540 in Bataan; 723 in Bulacan; 805 in Nueva Ecija; 539 in Pampanga; 575 in Tarlac; 240 in Zambales; 38 in Angeles City, Pampanga; and 110 in Olongapo City.
During police operations, there were 307 killed while those slain by alleged vigilantes number 343 to date.