PNP links 76 WV village officials to illegal drugs

By Jennifer P. Rendon 

The PNP said 430 barangay officials are on its list of suspected illegal drug personalities.

And no less than PNP chief General Benjamin Acorda revealed that Western Visayas has the highest number of barangay officials with links to the illegal drug trade at 76.

The Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 said the number includes both high-value and street-level individuals.

Twenty of the 76 drug-linked officials are punong barangays (barangay captains) while 56 are barangay kagawad (village councilmen).

They were either previously arrested, surrendered, or delisted and were placed under monitoring.

Information indicated that the list of 76 barangays officials in Western Visayas are not new drug personalities but were pooled from those who surrendered or were subjected to anti-drug operations in the past years.

Of the 20 barangay captains, five are from Negros Occidental while Iloilo and Antique province have four each; Aklan and Capiz with 3 each; and Iloilo City with one.

For barangay kagawads, Capiz has the most number with 17, Iloilo province with 11, Negros Occidental with 10, Aklan and Antique with 8 each, and Bacolod City and Iloilo City with one each.

Not one barangay official from Guimaras province is on the watchlist.

Brigadier Sidney Villaflor, newly-installed PRO-6 chief, said this development would further strengthen their resolve to conduct a relentless campaign against illegal drugs.

Villaflor said that the inclusion of the 76 barangay officials on the watchlist only strengthens the notion that no one is above the law.

By causing the arrest of government officials allegedly involved in illegal drugs and their trade, it serves as a stern warning to other drug personalities within its scope.

“We will continue to strike without fear, even if it involves government officials,” Villaflor said.

He vowed that PRO-6, in its vision to deliver a safe environment to the people of Western Visayas, will ensure that all resources available will be utilized to end the drug menace in the region.

“As the region’s top cop, I urge these elected government officials to end their involvement in illegal drugs immediately. You can never escape the heavy hands of the law,” Villaflor said.

He also urged the public to continue to remain vigilant and to do their part in our fight against illegal drugs.