Editorial

Certification as ‘Drug-free’, a serious process

IT is encouraging to learn that more towns are expected to be certified to be drug-free by the Regional Oversight Committee, after a validation process by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

To date, six have already been certified as drug-free, namely: San Nicolas Mapandan, Dasol, Agno, Bani, Laoac and Alaminos City, while three more, namely, Burgos, Sison and Anda are expected to be declared possibly this week in formal ceremonies. (Sto. Tomas town holds the distinction of being the only municipality not only in Pangasinan but in Region 1 that was never affected by illegal drugs before the Duterte administration declared the war on drugs).

What is noteworthy about the process of certification is that there are strict requirements that local governments and their Anti-Drug Advisory Councils must comply with. This process debunks criticisms that declarations are a sham and it’s the usual ‘palakasan’ among local politicos that make these possible.

As The PUNCH’s interview with the provincial officer of PDEA revealed, a number of towns that have been declared ‘drug-free’ by their respective local governments cannot be certified owing to their failure to strictly comply completely with the requirements. (See Story: PDEA explains delays in issuing certification as ‘Drug-Free’)

Change is here. Processes are finally taken seriously in this part of the country.

 

Trillanes ‘trial’

SEN.  Richard Gordon has put Sen. Antonio Trillanes on trial even as the former hopes to hit two birds with one stone with his ethics case against the “Bad Boy” from Bicol.

One, Gordon wants to teach Trillanes a lesson on parliamentary procedures.  Two, Gordon wants Trillanes suspended, a serious punishment that could put Trillanes—if found guilty—to political penury forever. Gordon said the first time Trillanes tried to impose himself during a Senate hearing, “he almost slugged it out with Sen. Zubiri.” Next, Trillanes called out Gordon’s Blue Ribbon Committee as the “Committee de Absuwelto (Committee of Exoneration)” when Gordon refused, initially, to invite Paulo Duterte and Mananse Carpio to the Senate probe on the smuggling of illegal drugs. (Paulo is President Duterte’s son and Carpio is Mr. Duterte’s son-in-law).

Gordon has said he has the vote of 16 of 23 senators to pin Trillanes down.  Trillanes laughs at Gordon’s claim—derisively.  Let the “game” begin.