Bataan named PHL’s 1st drug-free province

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    BALANGA CITY — The Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency has declared Bataan as the first drug-free province in the country, Gov. Albert Garcia announced Wednesday.

    The governor said that PDEA made the assessment and validation on Bataan as 100 percent drug-free based on 14 parameters of the Dangerous Drugs Board.

    He said that at the start of the government’s drug on war, Bataan was listed as the highest in Region 3 with more than 90 percent of its barangays being drug-affected that they did not question but instead worked on it.

    Based on the Barangay Ant-Drug Action Council’s list of PDEA, there were more than 3,000 notorious drug personalities in the province, Garcia said.

    “The number was all accounted for. Apat lang ang kinalagyan nila – arrested in buy-bust operations, admitted in drug reformation centers, nanlaban at napatay at umalis na sa barangay batay sa report ng mga barangay leaders,” he said.

    The governor and his brother, 2nd District Rep. Jose Enrique Garcia III, said they have requested President Duterte to come to Bataan to formally announce the good news.

    The governor said that the good feat is now being felt in Bataan that serves as signal for the coming in of more investments.

    Garcia said that 80 to 90 percent of all crimes in Bataan were drug-related. “Bumaba na ito ng husto and good as solved,” he said.

    He congratulated the leadership and men of the Philippines National Police, mayors, village leaders and the private sector for contributing to making Bataan drug-free and its having favorable peace and order condition.

    Senior Supt. Benjamin Silo, Jr., Bataan police director, said that 341 drug personalities were arrested and 24 killed in 279 police operations from July 1 to November 15, 2016 under police Oplan Double-Barrel.

    “May napatay pero never na ang pulisya ang nag-initiate ng unang putok,” Silo, a lawyer, said.

    He said that many preferred to surrender and in batches were admitted for reformation in three centers in Balanga City and another one in Limay town.

    Silo said that at the start of their anti-drug campaign in July 1, 2016, there were 219 out of 237 barangays with drug affectation recorded at 92 percent.

    “We are happy that as of November 15, 2016, all the barangays are cleared as validated by PDEA,” the Bataan police chief said.

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