LINGAYEN—It’s official. The Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPO) has verified that 296 persons involved in illegal drugs have filed their certificates of candidacies for various posts in the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in the province.
These include 121 incumbent barangay officials (29 barangay chairmen and 92 kagawads) seeking reelection, while 175 other candidates are listed in town/city drug watch lists.
In a briefing during the 2nd Provincial Joint Security Center Command Conference among the Commission on Elections, PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines in Lingayen, P/Sr. Inspector Noel Cabacungan said the 121 narco politicians seeking reelection are among the more than 200 listed narco politicians in the province.
Early on, 104 prospective candidates have withdrawn their bids to run mainly for refusing to take the drug test.
Of the 29 incumbent barangay officials, 22 were arrested while the 21 surrendered to the police.
Of the incumbent kagawads in narco list, 6 had been arrested while 86 surrendered to the police.
The 296 politicians in the narco list already include one kagawad of Poblacion Bani who was found with derogatory information on drugs but was not previously included in the list.
There were only 209 narco politicians mentioned in the regional drug watch list made public last week by Chief Supt. Romulo Sapitula, police regional director.
Cabacungan pointed out that of the six narco politicians in the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) drug list, only one filed his CoC. The five others are not running for reelection.
Meanwhile, P/Chief Inspector Dominick Poblete, intelligence officer of the Pangasinan PPO, confirmed that as of May 7, only 26,782 candidates of the 44,159 candidates in the whole province or 63 percent took the drug test. No one was found positive of drug use.
Lists of candidates who took a drug test and those who did not are now posted in all police stations, town or city plazas and election offices for all the people to see.
At the same time, Poblete said, PPPO will seek to deploy two policemen to each of the 1,195 voting centers in Pangasinan. (Leonardo Micua)
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