Año to drug-linked barangay bets: ‘Don’t even consider running’

Rambo Talabong
Año to drug-linked barangay bets: ‘Don’t even consider running’
DILG Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año gives the warning on the eve of the filing of certificates of candidacy for the May 14 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday, April 13, warned drug-linked barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) aspirants against running in the coming May elections.

DILG Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año made the call on the eve of the filing of certificates of candidacy for the May 14 barangay and SK elections.

“Do your country a favor. Do not even consider the thought of filing your certificate of candidacy for any position in the coming barangay and SK elections,” Año said in a statement on Friday.

“Don’t use public office to cover up your involvement in the narco trade. Don’t corrupt public funds for your crimes. Not under the watch of President Duterte. Not under my watch in the DILG,” he added.

Why is this important?  Village and youth officials play a crucial role in ending the drug menace in the country. Once elected, they will form the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs) in their respective localities.

“How can one have the moral authority to spearhead the drive against illegal drugs in their barangays if they themselves are tagged as protectors, financiers or users?” Año asked in his statement.

BADACs plan, strategize, implement, and evaluate programs and projects on drug abuse prevention.

Ideally, BADAC campaigns complement the campaign of the country’s anti-narcotics law enforcers by preventing drug proliferation in their communities. BADACs are also mandated to develop a drug rehabilitation program for village residents who have surrendered to the government.

However, the policy has yet to be implemented all over the country. (READ: DILG to Comelec: Require barangay, SK bets to publish resumes)

According to the latest count of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the lead agency in the government’s anti-illegal drugs efforts, only around 12,000 villages have activated their BADACs. The country has over 42,000 barangays. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.