BELIEVE it or not but 27 of the 505 barangays in Pampanga remain ‘drug-free,’ meaning there is no presence of even a single drug user or pusher in those areas, the officer-in-charge of the Pampanga Police Provincial Office told People’s Tonight on Tuesday.
According to Senior Supt. Joel R. Consulta, the 27 barangays are spread in some parts of the province where 478 barangays are considered as ‘slightly affected’ by illegal drug trafficking and abuse despite the discovery of at least four major shabu facilities this year which caused a massive government and public alarm.
Consulta said a barangay is certified as ‘drug-free’ by the barangay council, the mayor and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency if there is no validated presence of a single drug user or dealer in the area. He however did not identify the ‘drug-free’ barangays in the province.
The certification also has to be validated by the police with Camp Crame inspectors going to places declared as ‘drug-free’ to see if the report is true. Those giving inaccurate reports will find themselves undergoing investigation and subsequent administrative relief.
Consulta said that since the start of the implementation of the Philippine National Police Oplan: Tokhang last July 1, they have identified 12,453 drug personalities in the province.
He said that since then, they have already visited 9,435 houses of suspected drug personalities in line with the ongoing PNP Oplan: Tokhang resulting in the surrender of nearly 11,000 drug users and around 600 drug traffickers.
Anti-narcotics operations conducted by the Pampanga police since last July 1 have already reached 428 and resulted to 768 arrests and the killing of 26 armed drug suspects during gunbattles with anti-narcotics agents.
Consulta said that so far, 27 ‘high-value targets’ composed of 26 barangay councilmen and one barangay captain have been arrested by the local police.