MANILA - Quezon City's Barangay Culiat, once notorious for being a drug-infested community, may soon become a role model for other communities fighting illegal drugs, according to Vice President Leni Robredo.
Robredo, co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), said this after she visited Culiat Friday.
“Step one, nag-uusap na agad ang city officials, PNP (Philippine National Police) atsaka 'tong barangay. So, walang Tokhang na nangyari na walang presence yung barangay officials. Walang bumababa sa barangay na hindi dumaan sa city officials,” Robredo said, citing Oplan Tokhang, the government's controversial anti-narcotics program.
(Step one, city officials, PNP, and barangay officials talk immediately about drug concerns. So, Tokhang is not being conducted without the presence of barangay officials. Also, nothing happens in the barangay without the knowledge of city officials.)
The Vice President reiterated the importance of a vetted drug watchlist in the fight against illegal drugs.
“Before gumawa ng listahan, magkakasama na ang barangay at ang PNP saka PDEA (Philippine Drug Enformce Agency) na nag-uusap para isa ang listahan,” Robredo said.
(Before they make a list, officials of the barangay, PNP and PDEA are already in cooperation before they make the list.)
Hasan Adi, President of the Tribal Leaders of Salam Compound in Culiat, said that through efforts, drug users and pushers either have surrendered or were arrested, without reported deaths, for more than two years now.
“Against din tayo sa patayan. 'Wag natin patayin kasi biktima rin sila. Pero 'pag lumaban, bakit hindi,” Adi said.
(We are also against killings. Let's avoid killing drug suspects as they are also victims. But if they threaten authorities, why not fight back?
Robredo said her consultations will continue next week in Camarines Sur, Albay, and Negros Occidental, following her talks with ICAD agencies and foreign governments and institutions.