In Bataan, slogans, posters also used in fight vs drugs
BATAAN, Philippines – “A drug-free community is the safest place to be.”
This is the slogan used by Ace Espinosa, a teenager from Barangay (village) Puerto Rivas Ibaba in Balanga City, in his anti-drug poster that bested several other youths, mostly high school students of secondary educational institutions in different localities of this province.
Senior Superintendent Benjamin Silo Jr, Bataan provincial police director, said community involvement, including the participation of the youth and student sectors, must be tapped in order to effectively rid the province of the drug menace.
This method seems to be working, as 3 out of Bataan's one city and 11 towns have been declared “100% drug-free” within two months of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. These include Bagac, Morong, and Pilar municipalities which have a total of 38 barangays.
“We are happy to report that from about 90% drug affectation, or 211 of 237 barangays, we were able to clear 50 barangays last July and another 77 barangays in August. We will do all we can to clean the remaining drug-affected barangays within this month,” the police official said.
But to do this, Silo said the direct participation and support of barangay captains, councilmen and purok (area) leaders is necessary.
“That is why I am challenging all the officials of the drug-affected barangays to help us in this campaign against illegal drugs. It will be you who would directly benefit from this. There will be lesser crimes. There will be peace and order,” he said during the awarding ceremonies for the slogan and poster-making contest in Balanga City on Saturday, September 3.
Five of the 25 villages of the capital city are still affected by illegal drugs, according to police records. The town of Dinalupihan, which has the most number of villages that used to be all affected by illegal drugs, now only has 19 drug-affected villages.
Silo said the police is still employing Oplan TokHang (knock and plead) to ask suspected drug pushers to immediately stop their illegal activities.
“We request them to stop selling illegal drugs. If not, they will be subjected to police operations,” he said.
From July 1 to September 3, Silo said 210 suspected pushers were arrested and 19 were killed in “legitimate police operations.”
He said some 4,318 self-confessed drug pushers and users in different parts of Bataan surrendered to the police during the same period.
By making profiles of drug suspects, Silo said it is now easier for citizens to make queries on the background of the people they suspect to be involved in illegal drugs.
“For example, someone wants to rent your house or apartment, you can go to the police station or to the city or municipal hall to check the background of that person and you would get the information if he is involved in drugs,” he said. – Rappler.com