THE provinces of Aurora and Bataan on Saturday were both declared as ‘drug-cleared’ by the government even as Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa vowed a much tougher anti-narcotics campaign in Central Luzon and the rest of the country.
Speaking in behalf of Gen. Gamboa, PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar underscored the major role played by a much-improved police-community relationship in sustaining their war on drugs.
Eleazar also said that they expect to ‘liberate’ more drug-affected barangays in the country as they continue the war on drugs in order to allow the citizenry to walk safely on the streets and sleep in the confines of their homes.
He said that when the government launched the war on drugs in July 2016, 33,869 or 81 percent of the country’s 42,045 barangays were considered as ‘drug-infested.’
After 43 months, they succeeded in clearing 53 percent of 17,816 of all the affected barangays bringing down the remaining affected barangays in the country from 81 percent to 38 percent or a total of 16,053 barangays.
He thus challenged all stakeholders of Aurora and Bataan to sustain that status by seeing to it that there will be no resurgence of illegal drug activities in their provinces in a month’s time.
“A drug addict robs and steals to sustain his illegal drugs use, a drug addict would then rape and kill once he gets high on drugs, and a drug addict would influence more until the community where he lives becomes totally infected by the drug virus.
Had it not for the drug war, we would have not reduced the crime incidents in the country by 64% during the first 3 and 1/2 years of this administration compared with the last 3 and 1/2 years of previous administration because we subscribed to our belief that most of the crime are connected to illegal drugs use,” the PNP’s no. 3 official said.
Eleazar said the success of the drug war has been felt in the provinces of Aurora and Bataan which used to be known drug havens.