By Chito Chavez
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has strongly opposed the directive that requires barangay officials to submit the list of drug personalities and criminals in their respective areas.
In a statement, the CHR insisted that this could lead to an “unthorough” record of criminals and submission of unverified data.
“We have consistently maintained that intelligence gathering in pursuing drug personalities and criminals is a function of law enforcement. But giving sanctions to barangay officials who do not comply may encourage a practice of unthorough submission of names just to avoid being penalized by the DILG,” it said.
Earlier, DILG Undersecretary Martin Diño issued a directive requiring barangay officials to submit a list of suspected drug personalities and criminals in their respective turfs.
“This time may sanction ‘pag hindi nakapagsubmit. Tatanungin ko ang legal kung pwede akong magsuspend agad at kung hindi naman, tatanungin ko papaano mabibigyan ng sanction kung halimbawang hindi sila susunod sa DILG,” Diño said earlier.
Realizing that the directive can be abused, the CHR has urged barangay officials to be cautious in following the mandate of the DILG.
Meanwhile, 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 yesterday’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 from of illegal substance on the streets.
To outwit the drug dealers, Cuy said that the DDB will require the local chief executives to strictly monitor on 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.
To allay fears of mistaken identity, Cuy said the list of drug personalities and criminals that would be submitted by 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 that 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 performe his tasks to the best of his abilities.