DILG defends drug war drop boxes

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2017 08:25 AM

MANILA - The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Wednesday stood by its plan to put up drop boxes for anonymous tipsters to put in the names of drug suspects and corrupt officials. 

The DILG has ordered the use of drop boxes in provincial, city, municipal, and barangay halls as part of "Masa Masid", a community-based program to curb crime. 

The drop boxes however are open to abuse and those reported could fall victim to extrajudicial killings, the Commission on Human Rights and some church leaders earlier warned. 

DILG officer-in-charge Catalino Cuy sought to allay this concern, saying that all tips would be thoroughly validated. 

"Hindi naman po lahat ng ilalagay diyan paniniwalaan agad. Ibi-vetting po iyan," he told DZMM. 

(Not all reports there would be taken at face value. These will go through vetting.)

The tips, he said, will be collated by Masa Masid volunteers and reviewed by DILG provincial directors before being forwarded to concerned agencies. 

The DILG is discussing with lawmakers the vetting system and a suggestion to involve religious leaders, Cuy said. 

Cuy also stressed that the Masa Masid program does not focus on battling illegal drugs, but also corruption, criminality and violent extremism. 

"Puwede pong isumbong si kapitan kung gumagawa siya ng kalokohan sa local project niya. Puwedeng isumbong itong si pulis na gumagawa ng kalokohan," he said. 

(A barangay captain heading anomalous local projects may be reported. Scalawag cops could be reported.)

Tipsters could also text or e-mail reports and approach Masa Masid volunteers, he said. 

The DILG is seeking a P500 million budget for the Masa Masid program, which would be used for seminars and the allowance of some 128,000 volunteers, among others, Cuy said.