Lee: Drug clearance for 5 towns still on hold

LINGAYEN— Police teams are validating and continue to revalidate the drug situations in all barangays.

This was the directive of P/Sr. Superintendent Ronald Oliver Lee, police provincial director, as he confirmed that the seven towns they earlier declared as drug-free, only the status of Sto. Tomas and Laoac were retained.

The revalidation of previously declared drug-free: Natividad, San Nicolas, Alaminos City, Bolinao and Agno, has not be completed by PDEA.

“These towns as well as the others, including their respective barangays that were previously declared drug-free are all under validation. After validation, we will declare them as drug-free, Lee told newsmen at the sideline of the State of the Province Address of Gov. Amado Espino III on May 11 at the provincial capitol.

He said while there was no time frame given to clear all the towns and cities in he province, his self-imposed deadline is “within the year.”

Lee pointed out that the war on drugs suffered a snag when the PNP was ordered to suspend the campaign against illegal drugs because of reported irregularities and abuses in the implementation. He said many who voluntarily surrendered earlier resumed their illegal activities.

But most were quickly arrested during the early stages of the Project Double Barrel Reloaded because even as the police stopped their operations against illegal drugs, monitoring of their activities continued.

He said many of those being targeted today are newly emerged drug personalities.

Asked how many more high-value targets they have yet to arrest, Lee said there are three more and applications for search warrants in the houses of the three HVTs have already been filed.

Meanwhile, as the newly appointed Pangasinan provincial director, Lee said he will further intensify the campaign against illegal drugs, murderers and robbers.

As permanent police director, he said, he enjoys some autonomy in replacing or reshuffling police chiefs.

He surmised he only has one and a half year to stay if the tour of duty of a permanent police director is just two years because he already spent eight months as head of the provincial police.

He also gave the assurance that the two bombing incidents in Quiapo, Manila last week will not spill over to Pangasinan because his command is on a high alert status in monitoring any suspected terroristic activities in the province. (Leonardo Micua)