The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA-6) is closely monitoring five Iloilo City punong barangays allegedly involved in illegal drug activities.
Based on latest intelligence reports, the five village chiefs are protecting illegal drug personalities, the agency disclosed.
However, the PDEA refused to name the alleged “narco-politicians.”
Aside from punong barangays, there are also barangay kagawads and barangay tanods in the city included in the “revalidated” drug list.
The involvement of barangay officials in the illegal drug trade is the primary reason why President Rodrigo Duterte wants to postpone the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and barangay elections scheduled on October 23 this year.
According to Duterte, “forty percent of the total barangay captains [in the country] are into drugs.”
“We are looking for a way to appoint na lang the barangay captains, but the mechanism of how to go about it, select them. I can, but you know it’s always the President who has the power to appoint,” the President said.
On March 27, Surigao del Norte 2nd District Representative Robert Ace Barbers filed a house bill seeking to postpone the elections to May 2020.
All incumbent barangay officials, under HB 5359, “shall be deemed terminated upon the approval of this Act. Officers-in-charge shall be appointed by the President.”
Last year, the President signed a law that moved the barangay and SK elections scheduled on October 31, 2016, to October 2017.
“If you hold the elections now, drug money is still going around and the barangay captains, most of them are really into it, they would just stay in power,” Duterte said. IMT