DAGUPAN City Mayor Belen Fernandez has ordered P/Superintendent Franklin Ortiz, the city police chief, to revalidate the status of barangays in the city already declared as drug-cleared by his predecessor.
Fernandez gave the order during a meeting of the City Drug Abuse Council (CADAC) and officials of the Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (TRC) last Tuesday, May 8.
The mayor noted that 28 barangays were declared as drug-cleared with only three listed as still affected when P/Supt. Neil Miro was still officer-in-charge at the Dagupan City Police Station.
MIro was replaced by Supt. Franklin Ruiz on April 8.
Fernandez said the revalidation is necessary to determine if the 28 barangays are still cleared of drugs because before Miro was replaced, the PNP nationwide suspended its operations against illegal drugs, and there have been reports that the suspension enabled drug pushers to resume their activities.
Fernandez ordered the revalidation in view of the admission of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) representative in that meeting that the parameters in declaring barangay drug-cleared include the absence of supply, absence of user and absence of pusher.
“I don’t think there are no more supply and users in our barangays granting that the drug pushers have already left the city”, Fernandez said.
She mentioned the case of Barangay Bonuan Binloc, then known as drug haven not only in Dagupan and Pangasinan but in Region 1, which was cleared ahead of many barangays in Dagupan.
The mayor noted that a drug pusher recently arrested in another barangay is from Bonuan Binloc.
She also asked the police to include as among the respondents the owner or owners of establishments or hotels where police discovered the existence of pot sessions.
The PDEA said any establishment that lawmen raided twice for being the venue of a pot session can be declared as nuisance and can therefore be locked.
The mayor added she received many reports about pot sessions at Arizona Inn in Bonuan Boquig, near Bonuan Binloc, but lamented that when it was raided by the police some two months ago, the suspects managed to escape.
At the same time, she asked the police to make it as part of their protocol to first consult the CADAC before declaring any barangay drug-cleared. (Leonardo Micua)