LEGAZPI CITY: About 18,000 to 20,000 people from all walks of life in this capital city of Albay joined an indignation rally on Sunday to denounce the proliferation of drugs in the country, specifically in the Bicol region.
The annual anti-drug rally spearheaded by the city government of Legazpi led by Mayor Noel Rosal got the support of Bishop Joel “Bong” Baylon of the Diocese of Legazpi and officials of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency led by Rene M. Orbe, assistant secretary and deputy director general for administration.
“Today we made history. The biggest if not one of the biggest rallies against illegal drugs ever conducted in the city of Legazpi of about 18,000 participants from various schools, universities and colleges including barangays, private and government offices, senior citizens, women’s organization, youth and civic organizations, PNP, navy, coastguard, BFP, BJMP and PDEA,” Rosal said.
“Special thanks to Bishop Bong Baylon for gracing the affair. Thank you for being part of this program, for working together to curb the spread of illegal drugs. We’re serious in our fight against the proliferation of drugs because this is a menace to society,” the mayor said.
The provinces of Albay and Camarines Sur are under the radar of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as the most threatened areas in Bicol as drug syndicates operating in the National Capital Region to Calabarzon are expanding their operations into the Bicol region, Rene M. Orbe, assistant secretary and deputy director general for administration of PDEA told The Manila Times.
Orbe said the anti-drug rally in Legazpi was the first ever and so far the biggest rally in the country against illegal drugs.
“I admire the people of Legazpi led by Mayor Rosal and other city officials wherein all sectors of society joined hands in the fight against illegal drugs,” he said.
Orbe told The Manila Times that they are closely watching the provinces of Albay and Camarines Sur, which were tagged as expansion areas for the drug syndicates operating in NCR and Calabarzon.