CALLS have been mounting for Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils or BADACs to be really strengthened not only on paper and at the same for concerned officials to explain how they have dispensed their annual budget over the years.
This comes amid findings that the country’s drug problem could have worsened thru the years due to the failure of local government officials to do their job to wage an honest-to-goodness crackdown against illegal drug trafficking and abuse.
This is also the reason why President Duterte has raised the need to combat a ‘real and present danger’ -- the presence of an estimated 3 million drug addicts in the country who are getting their supplies from around 30,000 drug traffickers.
After President Duterte ordered Philippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa to mount an aggressive campaign against drugs thru the strict enforcement of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 last July 1, police have already shot dead more than 500 armed drug traffickers in gun battles; arrested over 6,000 drug dealers and caused the surrender of more than 500,000 confessed drug pushers and users as a result of the PNP Oplan: Tokhang and Project: Double Barrel.
BADACs, the Journal Group learned, are chaired by the barangay captain. Other members are the ‘kagawad’ who is the chair of peace and order as vice-chairperson and the chair of the women and family council, Sangguniang Kabataan, public school principal or representative, the chief barangay ‘tanod’ and a representative of a non-government organization and the religious group as members.
The city/municipal chief of police or his/her representatives act as ‘adviser’ of the BADAC.
In his order on June 16, 2015, then Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said that all concerned local authorities are advised that:
First, failure of the concerned local officials to appropriate a substantial portion of their respective Annual Budgets to assist in or enhance the enforcement of RA as mandatorily required by Section 51 of RA 9165 in all budget preparations in addition to those already mandatorily required under Section 234 of the Local Government Code, shall be a ground for disapproval of the Annual Budget on review and can be a ground for possible administrative case of dereliction of duty pursuant to Section 60 of the Local Government Code.
Second, failure of the local officials to take appropriate measures to enforce the pertinent provisions of RA 9165 after being made aware by the PDEA and or PNP and other law enforcement agencies that illegal drugs sale, delivery and use are rampant within their LGUs or shabu and other illegal drug laboratories and marijuana plantation have been uncovered within the area of their jurisdiction, shall be considered a prima facie evidence for administrative charges for gross negligence or dereliction of duties as may be warranted by evidence.
And third, any local official engaged in the manufacture, sale, delivery, transportation and use of illegal drugs or who may have benefited therefrom shall be dealt with criminally and administratively pursuant to the provisions of RA 9165.
However, it is only now that the government is addressing the problem aggressively, given President Duterte’s political will to stop the menace without sparing anybody.
As of yesterday, PNP investigators are working double time to investigate the policemen and local government officials named by President Duterte as ‘drug protectors and traffickers’ as Gen. Dela Rosa warned that those who have failed to turn themselves over to Camp Crame will be facing criminal and administrative charges.
PNP spokesman, Senior Superintendent Dionardo B. Carlos, said the PNP Internal Affairs Service has been instructed by the PNP chief to get the side of all 98 police officers and men in the President’s drug list. The PNP spokesperson said the PNP-IAS headed by Chief Supt. Leo Angelo Leuterio will determine if there is really basis to file administrative charges against the accused.
Those named by President Duterte were also transferred to PNP personnel holding units as part of the effort to account for them daily.
“Those who have defied the order of our Commander-in-Chief to surrender to Gen. dela Rosa will be asked to explain their failure to report within 24 hours as ordered. After 11 days of failure to report, they will be placed under AWOL status and will be charged administratively,” Carlos said.
The official said members of the uniformed service who have failed to surface at Camp Crame following President Duterte’s order will be considered not following the Commander-in-Chief’s instructions and will face the consequence of their actions.
Carlos, however, admitted that some of those in the list were already retired while others have been dismissed from the force for various offenses. He said that 36 officers and men who yielded to Gen. Dela Rosa the other Monday have been told to undergo a mandatory drug test.
Those who are previously assigned as ‘bodyguards’ to mayors named in the President’s list will be subjected to a ‘debriefing’ by PNP investigators to determine their knowledge on the illegal activities of their VIPs.
Carlos said actions will also be undertaken against immediate superiors of the accused policemen who will fail to account for them immediately. “However, due process is being observed here with due notices being given to those who failed to hear the President’s statement since they are in the provinces,” he said. “’Yung walang tinatago ay tiyak na matapang na haharapin ang aming mga imbestigador,” he said while adding that many have already denied involvement in drugs and vowed to fully cooperate with the ongoing PNP investigation.