Aquino claims Pampanga to be drug-cleared by year-end
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Philippine National Police (PNP) Region III Director, Chief Superintendent Aaron Aquino, on Friday challenged Pampanga police force to clear all drug-infested villages in the province before the year ends.
Aquino said that Pampanga, together with five provinces in Central Luzon, must abide with the initial deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte in eradicating drug menace in the country six months after he assumed post.
The intensive campaign against illegal drugs of PNP, which was spearheaded and the priority program of President Duterte, commenced on July 1 through Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Double Barrel and is supposed to end by December 31 of this year.
“That is the initial deadline set by our President before he sought another six months extension. But I am telling the provincial directors and Chief of Police (COP) to not mind the extension and focus on the immediate elimination of dangerous drugs in the community,” he stressed.
Asked if it is possible to make the province and the whole of Central Luzon become drug-free, Aquino said an extensive monitoring and information dissemination as well as cooperation from local officials and residents are needed to do so.
“Hindi ibig sabihin na may deadline, magmamadali na tayo. May mga proseso o parameters tayo na sinusunod bago natin ma-categorize ang isang barangay o lugar na drug-cleared and kailangan mag-refer pa din tayo doon,” he stressed.
He disclosed that Bataan earlier declared that it has successfully rid off prohibited drugs in their province through the collaborative efforts of the police force and the provincial government.
“If Bataan made it, I am also trusting the other provinces in our region to do same hopefully before the target date,” he added.
As of October 28, 11,322 drug users and pushers in the province have already surrendered to local authorities under Oplan Tokhang wherein 522 of them are identified as pushers and 10,770 as users.
309 of the said surrenderers are already enrolled in the Bahay Pagbabago where several reformation activities and livelihood program are conducted for their reintegration.
64 barangays or some 12.6 percent of the 505 drug-infested barangays were already declared drug-free as of October 28.
Pineda said that there is still much to be done to achieve the target but with the cooperation of every Kapampangans, it will not be too far.