THE newly formed National Adjudication Board (NAB) will soon decide the fate of five towns of Pangasinan whose status had been reverted to drug-affected after they and 30 other towns and one city had been declared as drug-cleared by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
This was disclosed by Dexter Asayco, PDEA team leader in Pangasinan, as he confirmed that the status of Agno, Binalonan, San Nicolas, San Jacinto, and Bautista had been changed to drug-affected because some drug personalities in their towns were reported to have resumed their illegal drug trading.
In an interview by Bombo Radyo Dagupan, Asayco said the new order was issued vesting the NAB with the authority to declare whether towns are drug-cleared or not, a function exercised solely before by PDEA regional offices.
He clarified that the five towns were already drug-cleared along with the 24 other towns and one city when the new order was received.
He said many of the identified drug personalities in the five towns were already arrested while others already surrendered and had undergone and completed the mandatory Barangay-based Rehabilitation Program.
Their BRP certifications as well as their respective case folders were already submitted to NAB for evaluation, he added.
Asayco said if one barangays is again found to be infiltrated by drug pushers the town will automatically be declared drug-affected.
The 25 other towns and one city already declared drug-cleared by PDEA are, Aguilar, Anda, Alcala, Bugallon, Burgos, Dasol, Laoac, Mabini, Malasiqui, Mapandan, Natividad, Sta. Maria, Sison, Lingayen, Bayambang, Mangatarem, Rosales, Labrador, Calasiao, Villasis, Sta. Barbara, Mangaldan, Urbiztondo, Tayug and Alaminos City.
Sto. Tomas was listed as drug unaffected.
A report by P/Col. Redrico Maranan, acting police provincial director, showed that 10 more towns had been endorsed for declaration: Pozorrubio, Bani, Manaoag, San Carlos City, San Fabian, Umingan, Sual, Infanta and Binmaley.
Asayco also said Dagupan City and San Quintin are now being validated by the Provincial Oversight Committee.
Meanwhile, the declaration of the towns of Bolinao, Asingan and Urdaneta City as drug-cleared is on hold as they have drug personalities in their areas who were included in the drug list identified by President Duterte before the election. (Leonardo Micua)
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