Davao del Norte Provincial Police Director PSSupt. Marcial Mariano Magistrado has vowed to totally clear the remaining 89 of the 116 barangays identified as still drug affected.
More than half or 52 percent of the province’s 223 barangays was earlier declared as drug affected by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
“We still have 89 barangays to clear of drug users and drug pushers,” he said, adding that he is confident that his police force can capably do it following the police rules and procedure of engagement with due respect to human rights.
PSSupt. Magistrado and Gov. Anthony del Rosario held a press conference Monday afternoon in New Marangal Hall inside the known Barracks, the Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office (PPO) Compound at Brgy. Visayan Village, Tagum City.
The governor said he was satisfied with the report of Magistrado but described the number of barangays cleared as still few.
He added there is still a long way to go in the provincial police’s war on drug, an observation affirmed by Magistrado, who assumed his post last April.
The drug-affected barangays in Davao del Norte were earlier identified by the PDEA and barangays and then validated by the provincial police, said Police Senior Inspector Lovely Mae Bitas, provincial anti illegal drugs monitoring officer.
She added that among the five provinces in Davao Region, Davao del Norte is actually Number 1 in having the most number of drug barangays cleared since July 2016 up to press time.
PDEA, she continued, only categorized the 116 of the province’s 223 total barangays as “slightly affected”.
PSSupt. Magistrado did not divulge the list of barangays subject for clearing, citing he did not want to jeopardize police operations. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)