Duterte needs 'strong' barangay officials in drug war: interior official

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2018 03:41 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs needs "strong" village officials and who will not turn in "useless" information against drug suspects, said an interior official who rejected proposals to postpone barangay elections anew.

The postponement being pushed by a House committee will only delay a new set of officials needed to improve existing barangay-based anti-drug abuse councils, said Assistant Secretary RJ Echiverri.

"Kasi, at this point in time, puro basura ang ibinibigay sa ‘ming mga impormasyon kasi nilalagay nila sa watch list, puro mga kalaban nila sa pulitika, hindi yung mga totoong.. nasa droga," he told a Senate hearing on proposed changes in the constitution.

(The information we get is trash. They only put their political opponents on the watch list, not those who are really involved in drugs.)

Congress earlier postponed the 2017 barangay elections to May this year after Duterte warned drug money could influence them.

Another postponement was sought Monday by members of the House suffrage committee, who wanted to hold the elections to October this year instead.

But this time, the perceived reason was to accommodate the planned shift to federalism, which would require intensive discussions and approval of a new constitution in a plebiscite.

"There’s no more excuse" for another postponement, said Echiverri.

"At this point in time, the President needs a new set of officers who will be strong in their drive against illegal drugs," he said.