The municipality of Maasin, Iloilo is set to be declared as illegal “drug-free” this Friday, town mayor Mariano Malones confirmed.
In an interview on Wednesday, Malones stressed that all of its 50 barangays were already cleared by its Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs).
He added that its drug-clearing documents were also validated by the Oversight Committee of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 6 and the Police Regional Office (PRO) 6.
The mayor recalled that its town was found to have 18 barangays affected by illegal drug activities since President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against illegal drugs started last year. The town also yielded 48 drugs surrenderers through the “Oplan Tokhang.”
Malones was also one of the local chief executives in the country tagged by the President as a drug protector.
But Malones stressed that he strived hard to prove that he is not among those narco-politicians.
“I was more encouraged to strengthen our fight against illegal drugs because of the tag and through the cooperation of our people, our BADACs were able to clear all our barangays from illegal drugs,” he said.
The mayor mentioned that they should have already declared its town as “drug-free” last month, however, because the members of the New Peoples Army (NPA) raided its town police station last June 18, they were unable to push through with the declaration.
Last week, the municipality of Alimodian in Iloilo was the first town in the province that was declared “drug-free” after all its 51 villages were cleared by its BADACs.
Malones said that a simple program at the town plaza will be conducted during the declaration on Friday. PDEA-6 regional director Gil Pabilona and PRO-6 regional director Chief Superintendent Cesar Hawthorne Binag are expected to grace the event.
But despite the drug-free status, Malones vowed to continue its campaign against illegal drugs and its monitoring efforts to sustain its status. [By Cindy B. Ferrer, PNA]