Tabogon town activates its first line of defense against drugs

Tabogon town, north Cebu formally activates its Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) for each of the town’s barangays.

Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Commission (CPADAC) Executive Director Joey Herrera assured BADACs that the Province is willing to help and assist in their efforts to curb illegal drug activities in their respective barangays.

However, BADACs must be strong-willed in informing the town mayor and chief of police of the situation, he said.

Kung kamo mahadlok mu sumbong ni Mayor ug ni Hepe, wala sila’y mahimo. Unsaon nila pag tabang ninyo,” he said.

(How can the mayor and police chief help in solving drug menace if you get scared in informing them of the suspected illegal activities in your community?)

“This is our chance to cleanse our community from drugs,” said Herrera.

Tabogon’s municipal anti-drug abuse council is headed by Mayor Zigfred Duterte and co-headed by town’s police chief Insp. Bonifacio Pareja.

Speaking to the barangay officials, Duterte explained that, as official BADAC members, they are the first line of defense against illegal drugs.

“You are the town’s front-liners in terms of information and action. Without your support, we cannot achieve our goals in our campaign against illegal drugs. The same goes for the Province and PDEA,” said Duterte.

Duterte said illegal drugs were rampant in the town long before he became a public official. But through cooperation with local police, drug menace in town has been minimized, he said.

“I advised Insp. Pareja to face and solve drug-related problems in Tabogon. And indeed, at least 80% of the problem has been solved through their operations,” he said.

Pareja emphasized that even before the oath-taking, some of the town’s barangay officials have already been working hand-in-hand with the town police in the fight against illegal drugs.

He credited Tabogon police’ success in anti-drug operations to the officials.

“Most (of our) operations conducted are based on tips and information given to us by you (barangay officials),” he said.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 regional director Jeffrey Bangsa said the fight against illegal drugs is a fight of all.

Ang laban sa droga ay dapat pagtulung-tulungan upang madaling masugpo. Hindi po kaya ng PDEA at PNP lamang. (Cooperation among all sectors easily fights off drug menace. PDEA and PNP cannot win the fight alone),” said Bangsa.

Loong Barangay Captain and Liga ng mga Barangay (LnB) – Tabogon chapter Vice President Merlino Alivio identified illegal drugs as one of the biggest problems in his barangay that should be solved.

Alivio shared that LnB-Tabogon was encouraged to activate BADACs in their town after understanding the drug situation in Cebu Province during the LnB-Cebu Annual General Assembly last July 16-18, 2014.

During the assembly, Cebu Provincial Government and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) formally launched the “Just Say No” program of CPADAC.

“Just Say No” is a program crafted by CPADAC and RAFI aimed to unify local government officials, law enforcement agencies, youth, schools, parents, businesses and local media to fight drug menace.

Drug menace is one of the priority problems Gov. Hilario Davide III aims to solve in his term.

Tabogon has a total of 25 barangays.