Duterte urges barangay chiefs to help rid communities of drugs

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 14 2018 07:31 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte interacts with supporters upon arrival at the ASEAN Convention Center in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, where he led the oath-taking ceremony of newly-elected barangay chiefs in Central Luzon, June 12, 2018. Valerie Escalera, Malacañang Photo

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday ordered barangay chiefs around the country to help the national government in its war on drugs.

Duterte warned barangay captains who will tolerate the proliferation of illegal drugs in their respective communities of harsh consequences.

The President said he would have his eyes on villages which frequently figure in drug cases.

“I will give you a chance. [You could be charged with] gross neglect of duty or I either suspend you or dismiss you outright,” Duterte said during the oath-taking of 4,000 newly-elected Calabarzon barangay captains in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

The President has proposed arming barangay captains to ensure their protection in the war on drugs and criminality.

Duterte clarified that arming the barangay officials does not mean they would now lead anti-drug operations.

“You only give the direction, but the actual operation belongs to the police,” Duterte said.

The interior department has ordered barangays around the country to set up their respective anti-drug abuse councils, and failure to do so would lead to charges of misconduct and dereliction of duty.

The President earlier tagged several barangay officials in the drug trade, with government releasing a 'narco-list' naming several village officials before the recent elections.