DILG to probe mayors, village chiefs of 'drug' areas
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) intends to investigate barangay captains and mayors of areas where drug-related crimes are prevalent.
The department is drafting a memorandum circular on this, said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella on Tuesday, July 12, during a Malacañang press briefing.
The planned memorandum circular was among the topics discussed during the Cabinet meeting presided by President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, July 11.
“[There is] a proposed memorandum to barangay captains and mayors of places with high incidence of drugs that they may be investigated for serious neglect of duty if found to have neglected their tasks,” said Abella.
Watch Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella's July 12 press conference here:
The decision to focus on barangays is in order to reinforce the idea of “area management,” especially because barangay captains are likely the most knowledgeable about the drug trade in their area of jurisdiction.
“It’s area management. If this is your area this is your area of responsibility,” said Abella.
Duterte’s spokesman also gave assurances that the DILG will ensure that investigations of mayors and barangay captains will follow due process.
Regional rehabilitation centers to cater to the thousands of drug addicts who have surrendered are also being eyed by the DILG as part of the Duterte administration’s campaign against drugs. (READ: Bill seeks to build drug rehab centers for the poor)
“There are plans to set up regional rehabilitation centers for rehabilitation of drug users,” said Abella.
Duterte is also “welcoming” other efforts by other groups such as non-governmental organizations to help in the rehabilitation of drug addicts.
The spike in deaths of drug suspects in police raids coincided with the first days of the Duterte presidency. His vows to protect policemen and threats to drug lords and drug pushers are widely thought to embolden law enforcers in the campaign against illegal drugs.
But lawmakers have expressed concern over how the anti-drugs operations are conducted, even suggesting the police submit to an investigation. – Rappler.com