FIFTY-SIX towns in Western Visayas posted zero accomplishment in anti-illegal drug operations since the re-launch of the PNP’s Project Double Barrel Reloaded campaign in March 2017.
Records from the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) showed that 15 of the 43 towns and component city of Iloilo province failed to score positive buy bust or illegal drugs search operation. By positive, it means that arrests were made and illegal drugs were recovered.
On the other hand, Aklan and Capiz have 14 towns each with zero accomplishment; Antique has 8 towns; and Guimaras has five towns.
Senior Superintendent Harold Tuzon, Iloilo police chief, said the towns of Alimodian, Anilao, Badiangan, Barotac Viejo, Batad, Bingawan, Dingle, Dumangas, Guimbal, Igbaras, Janiuay, Lemery, Miag-ao, San Dionisio, and San Rafael failed to arrest identified drug personalities since March.
In Aklan, the towns are Altavas, Balete, Banga, Batan, Buruanga, Ibajay, Lezo, Libacao, Madalag, Makato, Malinao, Nabas, Numancia, and Tangalan.
In Capiz, the towns that failed to make an arrest are Cuartero, Dao, Dumalag, Dumarao, Jamindan, Maayon, Mambusao, Panit-an, Pontevedra, Pilar, Pres. Roxas, Sapian, Sugma, and Tapaz.
Guimaras has Buenavista, Jordan, Nueva Valencia, San Lorenzo, and Sibunag.
In Antique, the towns in question are Belison, Bugasong, Laua-an, Pandan, San Remegio, Sebaste, Tibiao, and Valderama.
But Superintendent Gilbert Gorero, PRO-6 spokesperson, said the zero arrest should not be misconstrued as a failure in the illegal drugs campaign.
He said there could be reasons behind the zero accomplishment on the arrest of high value targets, low value targets, and street level pushers.
Gorero said they called the attention of the respective commanders to explain their “zero arrest” record.
“In the case of Guimaras, they reasoned out that they are almost done with their drug clearing operations,” Gorero said.
Others claimed that the identified drug personalities in their area of operation have relocated, stopped drug peddling, or went abroad.
“But that’s something that we have to assess. We need their anti-drug abuse councils to attest to that information,” Gorero said.
He also stressed that there the oversight committee set a criteria to gauge if a town has passed the PNP’s Project Double Barrel Reloaded campaign.
Gorero said 20 percent of the criteria is for the conduct of Oplan Tokhang which aims to convince drug peddlers to peacefully surrender.
Fifteen percent is allocated for the visitation of identified illegal drug personalities while the 5 percent is for the re-visitation.
The re-visitation is for policemen to gather the complete data of identified drug personalities such as mug shots, bio-profile, and affidavit of undertaking. Undergoing rehabilitation is also a factor for the re-visitation aspect.
The bulk of the rating is dedicated to the neutralization of “watchlisted” personalities such as high-value targets, low-value targets and street level pushers.
“That is given 50 percent. Thirty-five percent will be given to HVT while the 15 percent for arrests of LVTs and street level pushers,” Gorero explained.
Ten percent is allocated for investigation which includes the filing of cases against arrested drug personalities.
Another 10 percent is given to communication plan like community-relations activities which includes conduct of interviews and press releases.
The remaining 10 percent is for the commander’s prerogative like initiatives in support of the anti-illegal drug campaign.
But will a commander be liable if they failed to meet the rating required?
Gorero said no administrative charge will be filed.
Cases, he added, will only be filed if a commander violated the guidelines in the conduct of Oplan Tokhang.
In every Tokhang operation, the chief of police should lead, together with barangay officials or members of the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) and representative from the religious sector.
Gorero said the presence of the chief of police and barangay officials are mandatory while the faith-based representative is optional.
“Violation of the guidelines would mean administratively liability for the commander,” he added.