By Chito Chavez
Newly designated Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) chief Catalino Cuy said the support of the barangays is urgently needed in the government’s drive against illegal drugs.
During Monday’s flag ceremony at the DDB, Cuy noted that the country is now burdened by the presence of illegal drugs that are far more dangerous than the conventional ones.
With the government’s intense thrust against illegal drugs, Cuy said the supply of shabu has depleted that led to the proliferation of the more hazardous form of illegal substance on the streets.
To outwit the drug dealers, Cuy said the DDB will require the local chief executives to strictly monitor communities where the illegal drug trade is prevalent.
Also Cuy said barangay officials will have a shared responsibility in the drug war as shabu or crystal methamphetamine preys on the poorest parts of the community.
He said the DDB will support the anti-drug councils “at all levels,” from the regional, municipal, city, all the way down to the barangay levels.
Validate list of drug personalities
To allay fears of mistaken identity, Cuy said the list of drug personalities and criminals that would be submitted by Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Martin Diño would be carefully scrutinized and validated.
Civil groups earlier chided the DILG for issuing the directive insisting that this is unlawful and may be used to as an excuse to kill or arrest those included in the list.
Cuy said community-based rehabilitation must also be stepped up to accommodate drug surrenderers since most do not require confinement at drug recovery facilities.
The DDB chief remained unfazed by the firing of his most recent predecessors at the DDB saying he serves at the pleasure of the president and will just performed his tasks to the best of his abilities.
Before Cuy’s appointment, President Duterte appointed and removed Benjamin Reyes and Dionisio Santiago as chairpersons of the DDB.
Reyes was sacked after he allegedly contradicted the government’s drug statistics while Santiago got the boot after he criticized the China-backed “mega” drug facility in Nueva Ecija.