Bolinao still waiting to be declared drug-free

BOLINAO town government continues to wait for the town to be declared drug-clear.

And P/Sr. Inspector Joseph Mark Sibayan, Bolinao police chief, said the town will have to wait for the final notice from Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) to declare the municipality of Bolinao as drug cleared.

Sibayan said although all the 30 barangays (27 affected are already cleared and 3 drug unaffected) have been cleared since February, it’s PDEA that will have to make the final declaration.

He said PDEA already sent a letter to Mayor Noli Celeste of Bolinao and already set June 14 as tentative date for the declaration but this was suspended pending the clearing of Rep. Jesus Celeste’s name who was listed by President Duterte as one of the narco-politicians in the country.

PDEA Region 1 Director Jeoffrey Tacio said it is up to President Duterte to clear those he named on national television.

The President had cleared former Gov. Amado Espino Jr. but not Celeste.

The special investigation of Cong. Celeste by the composite team proved negative, according to Bolinao PNP.

The congressman reportedly voluntarily took a drug test and even signed a waiver to have his properties investigated.

Celeste said he finally received a letter from then DILG Secretary Sueno last January but before he could officially act on the clearance, Sueno was replaced.

“Unfair na rin dahil ang tagal ng clearance ko, ang nangyari, pero naiintidihan natin na nadelay na ang clearance dahil sa pagpapalit ng DILG Secretary,” Celeste said.

He said he will write to DILG again once a new DILG Secretary is appointed.

Celeste said, he is willing to go through again the process of investigation if needed just to clear his name.

He said what matters now is his conscience is clear over allegations of his involvement in illegal drugs.

Meanwhile, Sibayan said all the 533 drug users and pushers who surrendered last year continue to be monitored regularly, and all are actively participating in the community-based rehabilitation program. (Nora Dominguez)

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