DILG prepares for next admin

Published May 14, 2022, 11:21 AM

by Chito Chavez

Why advise if it is not needed?

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Saturday, May 14, that he would only give pieces of advice to his incoming successor if he would ask for it.

“No comment muna tayo dyan (giving advice). Masyadong presumptive (We have no comment on that yet. Its too presumptive),’’ Año said in a message.

Año made the comment when pressed on what advice he can provide the incoming DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos.

On May 13, Abalos, the former chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and campaign manager of presumptive President Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos Jr., was appointed as Año’s successor.

“Pinirepare naman talaga natin yung buong DILG organizations and machineries to support the incoming administration (We are really preparing the entire DILG organizations and machineries to support the incoming administration,),” Año noted.

The DILG chief is hoping that the next administration will support the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign and the continue to sustain the gains of the government’s anti-communist insurgency program through the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).

“Ang atin sanang panawagan sa darating administration on projects, efforts, programs ng DILG na pinagutos din ng ating Pangulo (President Duterte). Dapat ituloy tuloy especially yung effort namin against drugs, illegal drugs, against criminality of course suportahan yung NTF-ELCAC in fighting the CPP-NPA-NDF and their cohorts at saka yun nga yung capacitating the LGUs (local government units) makapagbigay ng services sa mga tao. So kung pwede ituloy tuloy lang sana lahat yun (We call on the next administration to continue the projects, efforts, programs of the DILG that was ordered by the President. This should continue, especially our efforts against drugs, illegal drugs, against criminality of course, support the NTF-ELCAC in fighting the CPP-NPA-NDF and their cohorts in capacitating the LGUs to provide public service. If it is possible all of these programs should continue),’’ Año said.

Año noted the wide scope of the illegal drug menace in the country with all the facets of life and social strata involved in it.

“Imagine pati sa mga local govt officials meron palang mga nasa drug list. Karamihang pamilya hindi nirereport na yung anak nila. Gumagamit ng drugs may mga problema na pala ano, parang its something na merong self denial pero nandyan kahit saang community may nagbebenta (Imagine even local government officials are included in the drug list. Most families do not respect their children. They use drugs, they are already problematic, it’s like there is something of self-denial but it is there in all the communities, the selling of drugs),’’ he noted.

Admitting that illegal drugs is a ‘worldwide problem’, Año maintained that President Duterte has done a tremendous job in neutralizing the illegal drug trade.

Even during the election campaign period, Año reported in a May 12 briefing with the President that state forces continued its anti-illegal drug campaign with 795 suspects arrested in 566 conducted drug operations, 397 of which were buy-busts from May 1 to 9.

There were 14 drug suspects who surrendered while one fatality was recorded during the said period.

In the said anti-illegal drug operations, 10.52 kilograms of shabu and 43.74 kilograms of marijuana worth P76,830,836.40 were confiscated by authorities.

The DILG has direct supervisory power over the Philippine National Police (PNP) which provides support to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the government’s lead anti-narcotics arm. (Chito A. Chavez)