STO. TOMAS—For drug pushers and users, this town is bad news.
The town’s residents are keeping a close watch on strangers who come to visit. Reason: They want to keep their town drug-free, having earned the honor of being the first lone drug-free municipality in Pangasinan.
P/Senior Inspector Herminio Olivares, police chief, said residents are collaborating closely with their police as evidenced by the their responses to the barangay assemblies being held in the past two weeks.
“We know that the town of Sto. Tomas is the most peaceful town in Pangasinan and we continue our police interventions” Olivares said.
“The responsibility became even heavier for being drug-free,” he added.
Quoting what Mayor Timoteo Villar III has been pointing out, Olivares said, “We are not after the award because we have been doing many years ago efforts similar to Oplan Taphang or Tokhang like the conduct of barangay visitations with the barangay officials.”
“Here in our town, through our intelligence gathering, we have not come across reports about drug pushers who come here because they know how strict are our anti-illegal drug campaign down to the barangay officials,” he added.
It may be recalled that this town has been doing its own version of Oplan Tokhang, with warnings through tarpaulins and billboards against drug users and pushers to avoid going or living here or face bitter consequences.
This worked well as Sto. Tomas earned its reputation as a town dreaded by drug personalities, he said.
On Feb. 13, the provincial board through Provincial Resolution No. 167-2017 commended the municipality of Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan as the first drug-free community in the province of Pangasinan.
“The town of Sto. Tomas, “a small but terrible community”, is one of the characteristics that can best describe the municipality due to its achievement as the first drug-free in the province,” the resolution said. (Tita Roces)